AFC Fylde and Preston College have today announced an exciting new partnership which will see the Coasters enhance their youth development programme.
The partnership will see an AFC Fylde Development Squad made up of Preston College students and based at its Fulwood Campus. The squad will then feed in to the AFC Fylde first team.
As well as footballing benefits for both parties, the link-up will also lead to opportunities for players at the club to develop their skills with tailored courses to suit their lifestyle and playing commitments.
Up to 20 players aged 16-19 will be recruited for the Academy in summer 2012 with trials starting soon, they will then represent the College Academy team and AFC Fylde Development side in the 2012-2013 season.
Mick Noblett, head of sport at Preston College said: “We’re excited to announce a link-up with AFC Fylde that will ensure some great opportunities for our footballers.
“We have already provided players who have gone on to play for Fylde but this partnership will help us to nurture and promote talent while ensuring they have the necessary support and relevant qualifications.”
Preston College Principal and Chief Executive, Lis Smith added: “This partnership will provide an excellent opportunity for all our students, not only those studying sport and involved in the development squad. The partnership has the potential to open up a range of opportunities from work placements to further business ventures for the College.”
David Haythornthwaite Chairman of AFC Fylde is excited by the potential of this latest community development: “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for AFC Fylde and reinforces our plans to expand our involvement in the Preston area. We feel Preston College will bring a great benefit to the club’s infrastructure. The College has identified us as an up and coming ambitious club and not only will it provide development of exciting young players, it will also open up new opportunities to expand our community activities in and around Preston. The partnership brings a number of other mutually beneficial opportunities including raising the profiles of both organisations, work experience opportunities for students, and providing our 1st team with excellent facilities such as the Sports Science lab.”
David Challinor, AFC Fylde 1st Team Manager is delighted with the link. “It’s a really exciting partnership and it’s really a win-win situation for both parties. It will provide us with an avenue to develop some of the best young talent from the area and it will go a long way to helping the club achieve our long term aims. Moving forward I’m keen to be involved and work with these young players in conjunction with our newly appointed Development Squad manager Andy Pilkington who also runs the College side. We are both looking forward to working together. With the academy training every day, they have a great opportunity to develop and show the potential they have for competing at 1st team level. ”
Trials for the Development Squad will be held on the 3G Pitch at Preston College on:
Monday 12th March 4:30-6:00pm
Monday 19th March 4:30-6:00pm
A further trial will take place at Kellamergh Park, home of AFC Fylde in June. For information contact Andy Pilkington from Preston College via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 225486.
In the meantime Andy Pilkington assisted by Colin Hughes have taken the reigns of AFC Fylde’s Development Squad who play in the Galaxy Lancashire League with many of the current crop of young players including Danny Monckton, Ricardo Egidi, Ross Ainsworth, Tutu Chilufya and Isaac Kusaloka all having made their 1st team debuts for the club whilst studying at Preston College and being part of a successful crop of young players to enjoy success with the College side in 2011.
For further information please contact Wayne Blinkhorn PR & Marketing Officer (Preston College) 01772 225024 or Martin Booker, Media Manager (AFC Fylde) 07525 323775
Photo: (L-R) Preston College staff Andy Pilkington (Sports Development Officer), Mick Noblett(Head of Sport), Lis Smith (College Principal) with AFC Fylde's Dave Challinor, Martin Booker (Business Development Manager)and Mick Fuller (Head of Football Development).