Stafford Rangers FC are delighted to announce that they have joined the NPLFA – the Northern Premier League Football Academy. The premier division outfit have been wanting to engage in an education / 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.”
The Stafford Rangers FC Academy is a full-time course which is an alternative to college where students will study for a BTEC in Sport Level 3 (Diploma and Extended Diploma available which is the equivalent to two/three A Levels) or an NVQ Level 2 in Sport for those students who don’t manage to get their GCSE grades which will be delivered by a tutor in the mornings before a UEFA qualified football coach will train the students in the afternoons as well as manage the side on Wednesday afternoons against fellow NPLFA sides such as Leek Town, Belper Town, Micklover Sports and Witton Albion. All games will take place at the main grounds of all the Evo-Stik League clubs involved and filmed for analysis with the weekly highlights show that is published every Friday (www.youtube.com/NPLFA)
The NPL Football Academy has been a huge success on and off the pitch with over 600 students enrolling and many of those progressing onto university, scholarships in the US, the NPLFA’s own sports degree course or employment and as of May 2018 over forty-seven have progressed to their respective first teams with four students progressing to the professional game (www.nplfa.co.uk/graduates)
An NPLFA spokesperson said, “We are thrilled Stafford Rangers have joined and we 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.”
By being a part of Stafford Rangers FC there are genuine pathways to play for the first team and with the football programme being held between Monday and Friday, students will still be able to play for their local junior sides at the weekend.
Recruitment will begin in September 2018 for a September 2019 start but interested Year 10/11 students can pre-register at nplfa.co.uk/register or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a maximum of twenty places available for the Stafford Rangers Academy with trials to be arranged in October 2018, December 2018, February 2019, April 2019 and May 2019.
For more information on the NPLFA, please visit the following sites: –