Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Clitheroe are looking to tap into a new youth set-up next season while reaping the benefits of strengthening their links with their local college next season.
As part of a new partnership with Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, the EVO-STIK NPL First Division North club will have full use of their sports facilities including access to 3G pitches, an indoor gymnasium, physiotherapy suite and analysis suite.
Blues manager Simon Haworth will also have access to DACA players who demonstrate the ability to progress while the club’s coaches and players will also be able to develop their coaching qualifications thanks to the agreement which was unveiled at the latest bi-monthly meeting of Clitheroe’s board.
Anne Barker, Clitheroe’s chairman, hailed the club’s new partnership after Howarth and Chris Worthington, the director of DACA’s footballing academy, attended the meeting, pictured. Barker, who collected the club’s National Games Award in May as the best behaved side in Non-League last season, is also looking forward to the possibility of working more closely with FA Chartered standard Clitheroe Wolves, their town’s leading junior club after disbanding their own youth team.
In a statement on the club’s website, she told supporters: “This was a very timely meeting both to fine tune the working arrangements between Clitheroe FC and DACA and to correct some of the more fanciful reports which have appeared in the press. It is a very exciting, multi-faceted deal which offers key benefits, both financial and playing, to Clitheroe FC.
“However, the Board is conscious that whilst the academy model is one which is being rolled out at this level nationwide, it does not want it to be seen as a barrier to local Clitheroe talent coming through the system.
“Clitheroe Wolves has been proposing an under 18 age group team for several months now, and we would like to explore with the Clitheroe Wolves set up how the club can work closely with them in this area.
“This would continue the very close links we have through the various Wolves’ teams proving mascots for the home games and reinforcing the youngsters’ links to their town team.”
Haworth is looking forward to fans hearing more about the partnerships at the club’s AGM at Shawbridge on Thursday night (July 15).
“As a semi-professional club, I am hugely excited by the opportunities offered by the link up with DACA,” said the Blues boss. “The benefits to the first team will be multiple. However, I am equally conscious of the club’s responsibility to the young people of Clitheroe and I will be working hard to ensure that opportunities will be found for encouraging young footballers, whether via Clitheroe Wolves or directly, to continue to strive to represent their home town.