Advanced Television

Zig Zag wins recommission for The Football Academy

April 4, 2023

Indie production company Zig Zag has secured a recommission from CBBC for its access-all-areas documentary series, The Football Academy Season 2 (15×30).

Returning to Southampton Football Club and with unparalleled access to young players from both the girls’ and boys’ teams, their families and their inspirational coaches, The Football Academy builds on the gripping stories and characters of seaspn 1. With a focus on key players in the teams, the series covers stories across age groups from the U8s through to the U15s, along with the club’s disability teams across the 2022/2023 season.

Following the success of the England Women’s team at the Euros, the series will have a greater focus on the girls’ teams at the club, where many of the players have been inspired to take up the sport by the efforts of the Lionesses.

With increased investment following the Euro victory, Southampton is looking to find the next generation of female football talent. Audiences will not only have the chance to follow the new potential stars from their very first trial with the academy, but Zig Zag will also feature appearances from Southampton’s first team, international players, and club heroes. In season one these included football legends Alan Shearer, Micah Richards, and Mo Salah.

Additionally, the series will once more be supplemented with spin-off content for BBC Learning and YouTube shorts.

The exec producers are Zig Zag’s Chief Executive Danny Fenton, Head of Entertainment Andy Scott and Managing Director Matt Graff. The series producer is Will Innes (Outsiders, Eating With My Ex).

Abacus Media Rights is distributing season 1 and season 2 internationally and will be taking it to MIPTV this April.

Andy Scott, Head of Entertainment at Zig Zag, said: “It’s brilliant to be returning to produce the second series of The Football Academy for CBBC, following on from the success of the first series which brought in new football-loving viewers to the BBC. Building on this success, we are featuring more star appearances this time round including top level Premier League and international footballers, as well as continuing the stories of the extremely talented boys and girls training at Southampton FC’s prestigious academy. It’s also an excellent opportunity to include more from the girl’s teams at the academy following the Lionesses’ success, with a number of compelling stories set to be included from the stars of the future.”

Fabiola Wilcox, Director of Brand Experience & Communications at Southampton FC, added “The club is tremendously proud of the work we do in developing young talent and are pleased young audiences are being inspired by our brilliant staff and players. Taking part in the first series proved to be an exciting and positive experience for everyone involved and the series demonstrates the high levels of professionalism, dedication and energy that goes into Saints Academy life. We’re delighted to have a second series commissioned and to be working with the Zig Zag Productions and the BBC again.”

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