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The NPL Football Academy (NPLFA) is delighted to announce that Belper Town student Owen Nixon is progressing onto the NPLFA’s ‘Undergraduate Sports Degree’ in partnership with Loughborough College.

Since creating the programme in 2017, the NPLFA are offering two types of blended learning courses that will last three years – a BSc in Sports Coaching to gain valuable work experience at a semi-professional club while obtaining coaching qualifications and a BSc in Sports Management covering the football industry and a host of cross-transferable skills.

The 18 year old is now extending his stay with the NPLFA and is looking forward to starting in September. “’I’m keen to get started on the course and I am looking forward to enjoying football both on the pitch and from the sidelines (preferring on the pitch as much as possible though!). If there are opportunities to have some input and work with our team manager to discuss team selection and tactics for play, i would enjoy that. The degree programme appealed to me as it meant carrying on being able to enjoy playing football whilst gaining qualifications in a familiar environment. I had considered the US scholarship option but decided it would be too much upheaval. I like the combination of study and sport.”

Having enjoyed his time in the NPLFA over the last two years, Owen is keeping his options open but would not mind becoming a future employee of the organisation one day. “Following the degree, i’m not 100% sure as to which direction I will follow. I could complete one further year in education and become a teacher or to get into coaching with a well established club would be great. I think there’s many roles in sport that I am yet to discover. I would also be interested in any possible future roles within the NPLFA or a similar organisation.

“The BTEC in Sport Level 3 has been enjoyable with the training and matches and being part of a team. The work has been interesting and I have been supported well by staff involved with me. It has been good to be given the opportunity to increase grades in the assignments and do the best I can. The highlight would be when I was nominated for NPLFA Player of the Month for sure.”

As someone who has experienced and achieved success on the programme, Owen urges those with an interest in sport to take a look at the programme when leaving school. “I’d definitely recommend the NPLFA to school leavers as an alternative to doing A-Levels at a local college. It’s been great to be able to undertake a course in something I’m truly interested in.”

Everyone at the NPLFA would like to wish Owen the very best of luck on our degree course and we look forward to catching up with him during his first year.

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