Crystal Palace 16 - 18 Youth Academy

About The Crystal Palace Foundation Academy Programme

We believe in developing young players in a holistic environment where they can develop into the best they can be; as people as well as players. We have strong beliefs and values around hard work, discipline, respect and humility. We create a safe, inclusive and fun environment for boys to learn and play. The players will follow a professional syllabus based around the 4 moments in the game: in possession, out of possession, transition to attacking, and transition to defending. We will play attacking, effective football and expose players to different systems to help make them tactically flexible and prepared for the modern game. We expect 100% commitment on all aspects of the programme, and learners must realise that their educational development is just as important, if not more so, comparative to their footballing development. Players will have access to our state-of-the-art gym, as well as the multipurpose indoor facility next to the Crystal Palace first-team training ground.

For more info click here to download the brochure.


Our Philosophy

In Possession

  • Aim to build up from the back to find the spare player
  • Movement and rotation to create central overloads
  • Quick switches of play to create wide overloads

Out of Possession

  • Desire to regain possession
  • Protect the middle – show away from goal
  • Protect space
  • Prevent split passes

Attacking Transition

  • Secure the pass
  • Counter-attacking on possession regain
  • Switching the play to the opposite side

Defensive Transition

  • React quickly
  • Press immediately or protect on loss of the ball
  • Force play into supporting players


Qualifications We Offer

BTEC Level 3 – Extended diploma in sport (Performance and Excellence)

BTEC Level 3 – Subsidiary diploma in sport (Performance and Excellence)

Level 1 Certificate – In sport and physical activity

Level 2 Diploma – In physical activity, fitness and exercise science


The Football Programme

Competitive fixtures are predominantly played on Wednesday afternoons, with matches occasionally taking place on Fridays.

  • We play in the National League U19 Alliance, and we compete against academy teams across the South East of England
  • Our players experience training by our dedicated, professional coaching staff up to three times a week
  • Players will follow a programme which aims to expand their abilities from a technical, tactical, physical, psychological and social perspective
  • Players also have access to strength and conditioning coaching, video analysis sessions and nutritional support workshops
  • Our players are encouraged to participate in extra fitness and gym sessions away from the programme to enhance their physical development in preparation for the men’s game

NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport

For more information regarding our NCFE courses, please visit


Meet the Team

Head of Football – Rob Quinn

Rob is an ex professional who played 280 league games for Crystal Palace, Brentford, Oxford and Bristol Rovers before playing another 300 non-league games with Stevenage, AFC Wimbledon, Ebbsfleet, Welling and Cray Wanderers. Rob also represented the Republic of Ireland at both U21 and B levels. Rob has been working with the Crystal Palace Academy for the last 5 seasons coaching different age groups alongside his work with football and education schemes.

Contact Details:

Phone: 07888739234



Academy Lead Coach Thomas Sibthorpe

Tom started coaching for his local grassroots club ranging from ages 8 to 18, and quickly progressed to academy level coaching and currently holds the FA Level 4 coaching qualification. Tom has a wealth of elite level experience from holding roles within areas such as - performance analysis, sports science, and football coaching - with clubs that include Leyton Orient, Charlton and Millwall. Tom currently leads the U11/12`s at Millwall Football Club. Tom also holds a degree within Sports Science and Professional Football Coaching, and holds an academic interest within skill acquisition and it`s application to movement and co-ordination development.

Contact Details:

Phone: 07789484768


Success Stories

Charles Dunne

Charles came to our Welling academy in 2006 after initially coming to our trial session. He was a central midfielder with us, and later played for Sevenoaks Town’s reserves. He was then signed by Wycombe Wanderers. Charles currently plays For Motherwell in Scotland.

Jarrad Little

“The Crystal Palace Foundation academy had given me the ideal opportunity to gain an insight into the demands of football at the elite level. I attained at first class education with the support of a fantastic tutor, and I’m bearing the fruits from my time at this excellent football and education programme as I am coaching semi-professionally whilst completing an undergraduate degree at UCFB.” Jarrad Little, Crystal Palace Foundation academy coach and student at UCFB.

Alex Gaggin

“A football education scheme was the perfect balance for me personally. It enabled me to chase my passion and dream of seeing my potential within the professional sporting industry, while also completing full time education and receiving a diploma for my efforts.” Alex Gaggin, currently playing for VCD United.



Players and learners who are part of the Crystal Palace Foundation Academy, Beckenham, will have the opportunity to progress into further endeavours. This may be in terms of first team playing opportunities, or possibilities to gain employment directly from the programme.

Progression into First Team Football

Our experienced coaching staff have accumulated many contacts within the game. Many players from this programme have gone on to pay in the upper echelons of semi professional football, with our best individuals successfully making the transition into the professional game.

Our coaching team will recommend players to clubs so long as the individual player has the correct attitude, desire and ability level to enable them to compete at the standard the respective club is playing at.

Progression into Coaching

Individuals who show the willingness and commitment to develop the next generation of young players will have the opportunity to experience coaching football sessions to primary school aged children.

We currently have partnerships with local primary schools where we deliver afterschool clubs and Saturday morning football sessions. Potential young coaches will be able to begin by observing and assisting experienced lead coaches, before being developed with the skill set of leading sessions themselves.

Links to Crystal Palace FC

Players who show excellent attitude, commitment and ability may have the opportunity to train and trial with the Crystal Palace U18 squad.

Numerous players from this programme have gone on trial with the academy, with one player joining the U18 squad on a tour to India.

Our training facility is a stone’s throw away from the first team training ground, and previous players have had the inspiring opportunity to meet first team players and coaching staff.


Contact Details

Head of Football Rob Quinn

Phone: 07888739234



Academy Director Keith Levett

Phone: 07765007295



Academy Coach and Operation Assistant Jarrad Little

Phone: 07947657922



Academy Lead Coach Thomas Sibthorpe

Phone: 07789484768