The NPL Football Academy’s coaches and tutors are getting ready to welcome the youngsters at a twelfth Evo-Stik Northern Premier club into their ranks next season.
Carlton Town were unveiled on Tuesday as latest club to join the NPLFA, the EVO-STIK NPL’s ground-breaking academy combining football with further education.
Founded at five pilot clubs in September 2014 to provide career pathways into the football industry and unique in English football, the NPLFA had already expanded to 11 clubs this season fielding 18 teams in two divisions of the NPL Youth League.
Players aged 16-18 study on two year courses for Level 3 Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications while competing in the academy’s own FA sanctioned competition, as well as in national competitions like the FA Youth Cup while being trained on a daily basis by UEFA qualified coaches.
The Millers are delighted to sign up for the NPLFA which was launched with the backing of the Football Association and last year entered into a strategic partnership with Global Premier Soccer, the world’s leading provider of sports scholarships in the United States.
Carlton Town chairman Mick Garton said: “We are delighted to have joined the NPL Football Academy. We have been looking to create a full time education and football academy for a while and we have been impressed with the growth of the NPLFA and their reputation for running successful academies.
“This is something that fits with our club development strategy being involved in the community and we are looking forward to working with the NPL Football Academy and making it a success.”
Millers manager Wayne Scott is excited at the prospect of the club’s youngsters developing under the NPLFA’s umbrella at the Bill Stokeld Stadium next season and the pool of talent it will create for his first team squad.
Scott said: “I have been following the NPLFA for a while and have seen the success it has achieved at other NPL clubs. From an education and community inclusion aspect it is fantastic for the club.
“It also creates a pool of players that I can choose from and judging from what I have seen so far, the programme attracts the area’s talented youngsters and that is exactly what we are looking for in the Nottingham area.”
An NPLFA spokesmen said: “We are thrilled that Carlton Town have chosen ourselves to lead and manage their education and football academy. We are excited to expand into Nottinghamshire and welcome new students to an ambitious and very welcoming club. We cannot wait to build a partnership with Mick, Wayne and everyone at Carlton Town and making it a success.”
Since its inception in 2014, the NPLFA has enrolled more than 250 students and continues to grow each year. Recruitment is now underway to fill the 22 places available at Carlton Town for the 2017-18 programme with the first trial date already arranged for Wednesday 21 December.
Taking place between 12pm and 2pm on the 3G pitch at Bill Stokeld Stadium, it will be followed by further trials to be confirmed in February and May 2017 and also over Easter.
Potential students can apply by registering their details at www.nplfa.co.uk/register or by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.