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Bolton Wanderers are delighted to announce a new official partnership with Leeds-based international football academy, RIASA (Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy).

Founded in 2010, RIASA offers both international and UK students the chance to study for the world's only US/UK accredited degree whilst developing their game and playing on UK soil.

The partnership will see Bolton Wanderers’ FA and UEFA qualified international coaching staff work closely with the RIASA team, sharing best practice and developing partnership opportunities for students and staff.

In addition, students will be given the opportunity to play games against Wanderers’ age-appropriate opposition and, during the off-season, the chance to play one game on the grass at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Neil Hart, Chief Executive Officer at Bolton Wanderers said: “Following 12 months of discussions, we are delighted to launch this new partnership with RIASA.

“An impressive and long-standing educational academy programme, RIASA bring something unique to students from all over the world, and we are pleased we can support their mission to offer the very best in player experience here on UK soil.

Mark Ellis, Academy Director at RIASA said: “I am thrilled to partner with an iconic club like BWFC and excited for the further opportunities this will bring for RIASA students.”

“It is my priority to keep adding to the quality of the programme and create more success stories like former students Nahki Wells presently at Bristol City and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, now owner of Sunderland FC. I believe partnering with Bolton will give us opportunities like these.”

RIASA will also see the launch of its London-based programme in September this year, which will give further opportunities for student and athletes to experience studying at Richmond American University London as well as playing in the capital city with access to the highest number of league clubs in the country.

Applications for RIASA for the academic year 2024/25 are open now.

For international students until the end of June 2024. For UK students, applications close at the beginning of August.

To find out more about RIASA, please click here.
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Seems a bit odd to me this does?

It sounds as though I'm an American kid who fancies a nine month stay in the UK studying but really kicking a ball about - I can't see anything about them having to be good at football?

And it talks about women's teams - do we even have one?

It's a Leeds based company - you'd think it would be an American company trying to place young footballers over here to develop them, who seem to be opening a 'school' in London to go with the one they seem to have at Leeds.

To my mind this is all about the Leeds company buying some time off the club to let them play a kick about with our youth team, every now and again and for one of our coaches to pop over to Leeds once or twice a week?

Maybe I'm missing something perhaps?

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