The NPL Football Academy is delighted to announce that Stafford Rangers have joined the programme taking the number of clubs to fifteen.
The premier division outfit have been wanting to engage in an education and football programme and have been looking at different options but have firmly decided to go with the leagues academy programme.
Chairman John Bromley said “We were looking to join a football education programme and decided the NPLFA its structure and governance is the one we felt comfortable with. From a club’s point of view, it costs nothing both financially and in human resources to see if we can establish such a programme at our football club. If we can the continued on-going management of the whole programme was also a deciding factor for us. It is also the league’s academy and we feel we are supporting their initiative and forward-thinking project. We have seen the NPLFA programme’s growth and learned a lot from their presentation to us and the commitment provided therefore we are delighted to have been chosen as one of the new clubs for the 2019/20 season.
The chairman added, “I would echo the thoughts of a number of club officials in press releases and I would imagine most clubs at our level with the volunteers and finances we have, would find it difficult to create such a programme, therefore to have the NPLFA oversee, monitor, manage and report to us is the best way forward.”
Newly appointed manager Steve Burr stated,“It is something I encouraged to be set up at the club as I have seen from a football aspect several players at other clubs develop and progress to the first team and I want those young lads in Stafford to know if they join the programme, develop over the two years and show the ability required they will be given a chance at this football club. I know this programme provides young lads with an opportunity to gain educational qualifications, along with a well organised football programme and if it was available when I left school it would be the place I would have gone to. There are a few organisations delivering this type of programme, however when you look at the quality, the concept and the growth of the NPLFA in such a short space of time, it shows it is being developed correctly.
Recruitment will begin in September for the new Year 11 students with the programme starting the following September 2019.
An NPLFA spokesperson said, “We are thrilled Stafford Rangers have joined and we are close to completing our intake of clubs for the 2019-2020 season. I am sure many people are aware of the potential at Stafford as a football club and we feel with the size of the catchment area and reputation of the club we can provide and develop a successful programme. It always helps when the manager is also committed to seeing a programme develop and in Steve Burr they have a manager not afraid to develop youth which should encourage local youngsters to join the programme.”
Interested students born in 2002 or 2003 can pre-apply HERE.