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Soccer giant Man City continues Australian expansion with football school in Adelaide

English Premier League giant and reigning champion Manchester City has struck up a deal with an Adelaide school as part of its ongoing push into Australia.

The club has announced it is joining forces with Rostrevor College, a Catholic school for boys in Adelaide’s north-east, to create a soccer school on site.

Rostrevor counts several Socceroos and A-League players among its former pupils, including current staff member Daniel Mullen.

Mullen said the club would establish a presence from next year, giving students the opportunity to participate in the Manchester City program which would be integrated into the curriculum.

“We will have a professional Manchester City coach from England come over, who will be full-time employed with the school,” he said.

“There are so many avenues and opportunities with this partnership — in-school is just one of them.

“We [can] run Manchester City Football School clinics here at Rostrevor College as well as in the Northern Territory, and we also have the opportunity to run them for boys and girls.”

In a statement, Manchester CIty said it was “excited to share” its sporting expertise with Australian juniors, and that assisting the “personal development” of students was also an essential aspect of the program.

“By working together, our program will deliver a world-class football education that is tailored specifically for students,” City Football Group education director Jorgina Busquets said.

Manchester City has entered into similar deals with two other Australian schools — St Laurence’s College in Brisbane and Parade College in Melbourne.

The club’s parent company, which also owns A-League club Melbourne City, has attracted criticism from some quarters over its global outreach, including from Amnesty International which has accused it of so-called “sportswashing”.

Daniel Mullen (R) takes the ball forward for Melbourne Victory
Daniel Mullen, pictured here playing for Melbourne Victory, is today Rostrevor’s soccer coordinator.(AAP Image: Julian Smith)

But Mullen said what would be occurring at Rostrevor would have education at its core, and would be aligned with “current standards in Australia”.

“It’s not an academy — it’s a football school, and again, that is a really big difference,” he said.

“If it was an academy, you could say it was solely about keeping players and trying to produce footballers that will want to go to their clubs.

“But that’s not the case at all.”

Mullen said students were “ecstatic” upon hearing the news today.

“Not everyone’s a Man City supporter but I think they might warm to Man City,” he said.

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