Learn the United way: Class of ’92 sign deal to turn Salford City FC pitch into uni students’ schoolroom

Class of ’92 backed Salford City FC have announced a landmark partnership with University of Salford.

The deal, the first of its kind in the country, will allow the Manchester United legends to ‘give something back’ to the community.

The agreement will now see Salford academics and students heavily involved in the development of non-league Salford City FC, sports hospitality firm Hotel Football and the Old Trafford Supporters Club.

The unique collaboration between the University and Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Neville brothers Phil and Gary was signed at the Salford City v Class of ’92 friendly at the AJ Bell Stadium on Thursday August 7… which saw the legends get beat 5-1 by the minnows.

The former Red Devils stars will present students from a variety of degree programmes with the opportunity to apply their expertise to contribute to success of Salford City.

The Evostik Division One North side, who play at Moor Lane in Kersal, were purchased by the Class of 92’s syndicate earlier this year, with big ambitions to get the club to climb the football pyramid.

A major part of the plan behind the club ownership was to establish strong ties with the stars’ local community and generate young local talent in whatever field, a wish that was echoed by Gary Neville.

“The Class of ’92 were given a chance when we were young by Manchester United,” said the 39-year old, now a Sky Sports pundit.

“Now we want to give something back and provide the best opportunities possible for Salford students and other young people in the community.

“This partnership is a central to our vision and we’re really lucky to be able to make the most out the enthusiasm and skills of some fantastic students and the incredible facilities at the university.”

Neville went on to say: “Whether it’s sports science, digital expertise or journalism, the University and its students offer so many things that are relevant to the football and club and our other ventures.

“I’m confident that the involvement of staff and students will bring a more professional approach to Salford City and hopefully achieve success to the club and hopefully go up as a high as possible up the pyramid.”

The first project was assigned to broadcast and journalism students who filmed and reported on the friendly on Thursday night.

Undergraduates and postgraduates at the school of journalism at Salford have been given the opportunity to cover all Salford City’s fixtures for their next campaign.

Students from other departments will also gain valuable experience with the club, as sports and health science students will liaise with physio staff to produce strength and conditioning programmes, as well as nutritional plans for the players.

Salford City players will also benefit from the use of the University’s state-of-the-art Human Performance Lab to assess their fitness and monitor their progress.

The unprecedented benefits for current and prospective Salford students have been expressed by the University vice-chancellor and Salford Business School Dean Professor Amanda Brotherick:

“The internship, placement and research opportunities for our students through our exclusive partnership with the Class of ’92 are incredible.

“Our work with Salford City, Hotel Football and Old Trafford Supporter’s Club and on other projects further strengthens our commitment to our graduates’ career success.”

The length of the partnership initiative was announced as a five-year agreement, however from all concerned with the deal, there are hopes that this period will forge some deep and lasting links.

United legend Ryan Giggs, was confident that this programme will be a long-term fixture.

“We’re committed to Salford City FC and the Hotel Football projects for the long term,” the Welshman said.

“We’re relishing working with students on a variety of exciting projects for many years to come.”

Main image courtesy of universalmoviesuk via YouTube, with thanks.

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