The ‘Inter League’ squad for the game against Port Vale has been selected.
Students representing Belper Town, Kidsgrove Athletic, Mickleover Sports, Radcliffe Borough, Warrington Town and Witton Albion have been picked in the 18 man squad will take on Port Vale at Kidsgrove Athletic on Monday 10th April.
The game which kicks off at 7pm is open to the public with free admission and everyone is encouraged to come down to Kidsgrove and see the exciting talent that is in the NPL Football Academy test themselves against professional opposition.
All players selected, a reminder the arrival time at Kidsgrove Athletic FC is 6pm in your club tracksuit.
e spoke to Mick Ede, youth and reserve team manager at Port Vale FC.
What are your thoughts on the NPL Football Academy (NPLFA)? As an FA Sanctioned League that is an alternative to the professional academies, where do you see the NPLFA in the structure of English youth football development?
“The NPL Football Academy is a vital part of the football system. Players develop at different levels and at different stages in their life. This gives a quality standard of coaching and game play for those that have not quite made professional academies at this time, but still striving to develop and make the professional level.”
With Jamie Vardy and Craig Dawson, two players who started in the NPL and progressed to the Premier League via the Football League, are FL clubs looking more and more into non-league to unearth talent?
“I think at Port Vale we have always looked into the non-league for potential players. This is a strong link we have made and use the non-league to send young players on loan to develop certain areas of their game. This also give us an opportunity to take in a number of non-league games.”
The majority of the players selected for the inter league squad have made their debuts for their Evo-Stik League side at just 16/17. How hard is it for young footballers who have just come out of junior football to play senior football especially at the levels of Port Vale and the Evo-Stik League so soon after leaving school?
“As we have already stated we use the non-league to help develop, in particular, the physical corner of our players development. This is normally the area that younger players would struggle with when stepping into level 3/4 football. This has to be carefully considered and we have to make sure that this task is right for the individual players.”
Everyone at the NPLFA is looking forward to testing themselves against a fantastic football league academy, are PVFC looking forward to the game as well?
“We know that this will be a test for our players and one we will look forward to. It is an opportunity to play under lights, which is something some of our players have not yet experienced. So there are several new factors for our players to experience and any new experiences we can expose our players to, will help their development.”