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  • Writer's pictureESPFA


Congratulations to current first year #ESPFADerbyshire students Lewis Austin and Leighton Thomas who made their first team debuts for Belper Town in last night's 3-0 victory over Ashbourne FC in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Third Round.

Both students recently signed first team forms for the Nailers' after impressing for the Academy side at the start of the season and have been in and around the first team set up ever since.

It was double delight for 16 year old Austin who entered the field in the 70th minute, becoming the 84th ESPFA student to make a competitive debut for the first team of one of our partner clubs and immediately got on the scoresheet, sealing the win for the away side in what was most likely his first touch of the ball.

18 year old Leighton Thomas became the 85th first team graduate when he came on for Tom Wilson in the 75th minute with both students giving a fantastic account of their abilities for players of such a young age.

It’s a great success to see students who have passed through the ESPFA recruitment progress into senior football and get a foothold in the semi-professional game. To get in on the action and have the chance to follow in their footsteps sign up at

16 year old Lewis Austin sealing the win for the Nailers with his strike in the 71st minute. Photo by Mike Smith (MossleySmithy) (Full set -

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