More than twenty students from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s ground-breaking academy celebrated Easter with their families after signing first team forms with their parent clubs.
As the NPLFA prepared for Easter trials for next season’s intake this week and next, proud tutors and coaches have congratulated the 22 players from eight clubs who beat Thursday’s final transfer deadline of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League campaign.
At least one of the youngsters, Radcliffe Borough’s Adam Leach, also made his debut on Easter Saturday when he came on as a late substitute in Boro’s 3-0 home win over Prescot Cables at Stainton Park. In doing so, he became the NPLFA’s eighth player, and the third from Radcliffe, to progress to playing Evo-Stik Northern Premier League football.
The other NPLFA graduates are Leach’s Radcliffe teammates Reece Granner and Sam Daniels, Mossley pair Beckham Adelaje and Prince Owusu, Scott Taylor and Sam Weston from Belper Town, Leek’s Owen Wyatt, Warrington’s Euan Woods, Matlock Town’s Lewis Brown and Piper Macneil along with Bradley Allerton, Javari Campbell, Sam Arnold, Jordan Forrest and Kaylem Beardmore from Kidsgrove Athletic and Lewis Belgrave, Tyron Buxton, Kieran Cronin, Jordan Gilhooly, Jack Tolley and Murtaza Haidary from Mickleover Sports.
The NPLFA’s clubs are holding a series of ‘open trials’ over the Easter holidays for ambitious youngsters either leaving school this summer or coming to the end of their first year in college.
The trials were announced last week as the NPLFA’s coaches and tutors prepared for its expansion to 11 clubs and an intake of well over 200 students in September following its successful launch in 2014 at five pilot clubs.
Since then, the Evo-Stik NPL has been widely hailed for becoming the first league in English football to operate a youth league and academy combining football with further education.
Launched with the backing of the Football Association to provide career pathways into the football industry, the NPLFA’s 16 to 18-year-old students study on two year courses for Level 3 Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications while being trained on a daily basis by UEFA qualified coaches and competing in the NPL Youth League and national competitions like the FA Youth Cup.
The NPLFA’s nine current clubs are Belper Town, Leek Town, Kidsgrove Athletic, Matlock Town, Mickleover Sports, Mossley AFC, Radcliffe Borough, Sutton Coldfield Town and Warrington Town with Witton Albion and Lancaster City also on board for next season.
Follow the academy’s progress at nplfa.co.uk, twitter.com/NPLFA and at facebook.com/NPLFA.