REDDITCH United Football Club has announced it has entered into a collaborative partnership with Newman University.

The partnership is part of the Higher Level Skills Match (HLSM), an initiative created for businesses to support SME growth and employability, matching organisations with highly skilled local graduates and academic expertise to help drive their business forward.

Redditch United FC and Newman University will work together on projects that are closely aligned to both organisations' philosophies.

Dr Ibrahim Akubat and Dr Stefan Lawrence, senior lecturers in Sport and Health at Newman University, will work alongside the board of directors at Redditch United FC.

In their roles as consultants at the football club, they will help develop and drive the club's future strategy in areas such as management, governance, community development, education and the on pitch performance of the teams.

It is envisaged that as part of this partnership, numerous opportunities will arise for students at Newman across the institution.

Dr Ibrahim Akubat said: "We're really excited to be involved in the next phase of the Redditch United FC story.

"David Faulkner the chairman is a former Newman student and our values align well. We have expertise at Newman in a number of areas that Redditch United FC could benefit from but we can also build on some of the already excellent service and schemes that are run for the local community by the football club. Our staff are doing similar work nationally and internationally with other organisations, so it's great to be able to contribute to a local club."

Club chairman David Faulkner said: "I am very excited to have this official partnership with Newman University. Their support will enable us to continue to grow and help us to define our identity and strategy moving forward. This level of expertise helping to support us is a real opportunity that we will enable us to meet our future aims and ambitions.