Pure Football Academy in West Kent

“Using football as a tool to teach life skills”: Pure Football Academy are an independent football academy with a passion for delivering high quality coaching and helping young footballers in West Kent and East Sussex fulfil their passion in a fun and developmental environment.


Delivering sessions in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, CommunityAd had the pleasure of catching up with the Managing Director of Pure Football Academy, Mr Luke Carpenter to find out more…


To readers who may not know, can you give us a background into your own footballing experience and what made you start Pure Football Academy?

I have been coaching for many years in various roles ranging from grassroots clubs, district teams, professional academies and senior football where I am currently the first team manager for Tunbridge Wells FC. I personally found some of the methods by other organisations and academies to be less player care centred, which I didn’t agree with and our name – Pure – was selected based on our intentions. For me, starting Pure Football Academy was about providing good additional training for players with their development being our sole goal. We don’t operate as a team so there is no pressure on players to focus on results, however, we do play a few friendly fixtures a year to give the opportunity to transfer training into match play.


What is your ethos as a football coach?

I believe in using football as a tool to teach life skills. We’ll regularly draw attention to various skills that people will encounter in life during our sessions as when young people are seeing this through their passion and hobby it seems to resonate more with them. For me, it is important that players are enjoying themselves and given a place to practice and fail without pressure whilst also given the platform and help to turn what they deem a failure into a success through acceptance, practice and perseverance.


How much footballing talent would you say there is in the Weald of Kent?

There is a lot of talent in the area. I am not so sure that the opportunity is always there in a fair manner, though.


What football coach inspires you the most and who would you say is currently the best coach in the world and why? 

I took a lot of inspiration many years ago from Marcelo Bielsa when he was coaching the Chile national team. When he came to England with Leeds it was great for me to watch more of his football and learn. Aside from that I am a Tottenham fan (for my sins) and a huge admirer of Mauricio Pochettino, but in terms of the best coach in the world I can’t help but constantly look at Pep Guardiola.


Can you inform us of any players you have had who have advanced  their football career into senior level? 

We have only been operating since 2017 from younger ages, so we’re still a young organisation. We do have a few players that are making their way into professional clubs, one of which is doing incredibly well at Gillingham.

Away from Pure, I have also coached the likes of Harry Ransom who is now at Crawley Town and won an award with them at the end of the season.


What would you say you enjoy most about coaching in the Weald? 

There are great facilities in Kent and some very good coaches to work with and learn from as well as an abundance of talented and hungry young players with a desire to develop.


Do you have a long term vision of where you would like Pure Football Academy to be in the next 5-10 years?

We have lots of plans that we are currently working towards. Our initial 5-year plan was impacted by COVID but we have managed to come through that tough period and tweak our vision, but we are well on track to reaching our goals of providing a genuine pathway for players in the local area.


Find out more about Pure Football Academy on their website.

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