After a hugely successful year in the classroom as well on the pitch, the NPL Football Academy's tutors have published a list of their top rated students along with glowing tributes.
As an extra prize for being chosen, all ten students, pictured, were also entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a Google Chromebook, Radcliffe student Cameron Lewarne the first name out of the hat.
Scott Taylor, Belper Town
(Pictured receiving his award from Belper Town academy coach and tutor Tom Donlon)
Scott has been a familiar face at the NPL Football Academy over the last two years, becoming the first Belper Town student to make the step up into Non-League first team football at the tender age of 16. Belper’s skilful number 10 was subsequently called up to the NPLFA Interleague Squad, and has been named in the NPLFA Team of the Year for both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
His talent on the football pitch speaks for itself, however its Scott’s overall attitude and commitment to the programme which has been so impressive to see. Achieving a 98% attendance record, Scott has kept to every assignment deadline, whilst ensuring all of his work is of an excellent standard. A popular member of the group and a role model for all, Scott has also managed to afford time to help support his peers throughout the duration of the course, whilst achieving a commendable Distinction:Merit in his own BTEC studies.
Scott is now in the process of applying for our BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching degree programme – in conjunction with Loughborough College thanks to its new partnership with the NPLFA – so we’ll look forward to another successful three years!
Dan Spooner, Kidsgrove Athletic
(Pictured receiving his award from his tutor Luca Giagu)
Dan has made exceptional progress in his two years with the NPL Football Academy, both in the classroom and on the pitch. A permanent fixture on the Academy team sheet, Dan has also been called up twice by the first team, which is a credit to both his technical ability and more importantly his tremendous work ethic.
It is the latter, along with his phenomenally professional approach, which has seen Dan progress so well in his BTEC studies. Upon enrolment, Dan fell below the Level 3 Diploma entry requirement guidelines and was therefore turned away by a number of colleges. However, after impressing us during the interview stages, he was given the opportunity to enrol on our programme and has never looked back.
He can also be proud of a 98% attendance record, which has been the catalyst for achieving a Merit:Pass on the Level 3 Diploma; proving hard work and determination can carry you a long way!
Joel Virgo, Leek Town
(Pictured receiving his award from his tutor Luca Giagu)
Joel joined the NPL Football Academy last September and has since enjoyed an incredibly successful first year with the Leek Town squad. First and foremost, Joel has achieved a remarkable 100% attendance record throughout the year, demonstrating a fantastic attitude to his studies and producing an outstanding level of work along the way.
Having kept to every assignment deadline, whilst displaying a willingness to help and encourage others, Joel has now completed his first year; with Distinctions in every unit across the board. Needless to say, a fantastic effort by Joel, who is now on course for a D*D*D* come this time next year.
Keep up the excellent work Joel and we’ve no doubt you’ll enjoy every success in the future!
Keifer Macdonald, Matlock Town
(Pictured receiving his award from his academy coach and tutor Carl Vickers)
Keifer has made an outstanding start to his course with the NPL Football Academy, boasting a 98% attendance record thus far. An extremely academic and hard-working student, Keifer has now completed his first year with Matlock Town, achieving a Distinction overall on the Extended Diploma.
In addition to his academic accomplishments, Keifer has also committed his time to the Matlock Town in the Community programme, which provides aspiring coaches for holiday football camps and training sessions at local junior schools. As if that wasn’t quite impressive enough, Keifer has also volunteered for the role of programme editor for the MTFC Reserves, and has done an excellent job of it so far!
Cameron Higgins, Mickleover Sports
(Pictured receiving his award from his tutor Amanda Gayler)
Cameron is now finishing his second year of the academy programme at Mickleover, and while he has been part of an academy squad that has enjoyed major successes, it’s his work in the BTEC which has shown so much promise for the future.
An extremely polite and driven individual, Cameron has continually challenged himself throughout the course to produce work of an excellent standard and has been an absolute pleasure to teach. As a result, he will now graduate the NPL Football Academy with a Distinction:Merit in the BTEC Diploma, which will be his passport to the University of South Wales; where he has elected to study a Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching and Development.
We wish you all the best of luck for the future Cameron – we’re sure you’ll embrace this next chapter with the same excellent attitude and work ethic you have shown so far!
Moses Nsiala, Mossley
The towering centre half has enjoyed an impressive debut season in the NPL Football Academy, both in the classroom and out on the pitch.
Undoubtedly the joker of the group, Moses brings a continuous sense of humour to the academy programme at Mossley, whilst still being an extremely focussed and dedicated competitor in both his football and academic studies. What’s been so impressive about Moses this season, as with a number of other students winning awards this week, is that he fell below the guideline entry requirements for the course in September. However, with a professional approach to his studies and an excellent attendance record across the year (98%), he has proven that commitment and application can take you a long, long way.
Well done on an excellent first year Moses – keep up the good work!
Cameron Lewarne (Radcliffe Borough)
(Pictured receiving his award from his tutor Mark Baker)
Cameron has been the model academy student from day one, setting a perfect example to his fellow teammates, both in his application to the BTEC (in which he is breezing through the Extended Diploma) and in his commitment and attitude to the football programme.
A permanent fixture in the academy side, Cameron capped off the football season by winning the Radcliffe Borough ‘Player’s Player of the Year’ award whilst cementing a 100% attendance record for education sessions. A remarkably focused, driven and academic student, Cameron has now finished his first year of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport, in which he is on course for a D*D*D* next year and will certainly have his pick of university courses, should he choose that route.
Congratulations on an impeccable first year with us Cameron, I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more “well dones” along the way!
Jorge Blemings, Sutton Coldfield Town
(Jorge will collect his award when he returns from Portugal in September)
Jorge is one of a number of international students who have been attracted to the success of the NPLFA thus far, and since coming over from Portugal last year, his transition into the academy programme has been seamless.
Firstly, the playmaker has been in eye-catching form all year on the football pitch, even though his side have endured a testing first season in the Joma division. From the very first trial session, Jorge’s footballing talent has never been in doubt and he has proved that quality day-in-day-out, not least by picking up April’s Player of the Month award.
That being said, it is Jorge’s academic performance which has been so admirable taking the challenging BTEC qualification in his stride. He has been a polite and hardworking student from the get-go, always taking pride in his work and ensuring he is on time and engaging to his maximum capacity throughout.
Well done on an excellent first year with the NPL Football Academy Jorge, we’re looking forward to having you back in September!
Owen Oakley, Warrington Town
(Pictured receiving his award from his tutor Mike Johnson)
Owen was one of the first students to enrol on the academy programme at Warrington, back in September 2015, and he has since made a habit of competing to be number one in all other aspects of the programme.
An outstandingly committed, driven and mature individual, Owen breathes professionalism in everything he does. At training sessions for example, Owen is always the first to arrive and the last to leave and in addition to that, because he is so passionate about his own personal development, he is always willing to ask academy head coach Keith Southern, “what else can I do to improve?”
From an academic point of view, Owen’s desire, commitment and attitude towards his studies has been the catalyst for such an incredible improvement over the last two years, in which he is now graduating the NPL Football Academy with a Double Merit and a cup winners medal to his name.
Finally, boasting an unprecedented 100% attendance and punctuality record over the last two years, Owen has truly been a pleasure to teach and should be highlighted as the perfect role model for any aspiring academy student. Well done Owen, we’re looking forward to having you back for the Extended Diploma top-up in September!
Owen Wynne, Witton Albion
(Pictured receiving his award from his tutor Dean Hughes)
Albion’s captain and top goalscorer, Owen made waves during his debut season in the Chryso division and was duly called up for the NPLFA Interleague Squad, who went head-to-head with Port Vale in April.
A common theme with all of our award winners, Owen’s dedication and commitment to both his football and education has made such outstanding attainment possible this year.
Attendance, as a fundamental building block for any success, has been demonstrated perfectly by Owen throughout the year; who has not missed a single education session. Owen has also made the maximum use of his time by attempting and achieving every distinction task, whilst exhibiting a refreshingly positive attitude towards his studies.
Owen will finish his first year of the Extended Diploma next week, in which he his still on course for a tremendous D*D*D*. Well done Owen – keep up the fantastic work!
* The EVO-STIK League’s ground-breaking academy was founded with the backing of the Football Association at five pilot clubs in September 2014 to provide career pathways into the football industry.
Expanding to 13 clubs catering to more than 400 students for the 2017-18 season in September, the NPLFA is still the only league wide academy in English football combining sport with education. Thanks to the new higher education partnership with Loughborough College, youngsters currently studying with the NPLFA on two year BTEC courses or embarking on them this Autumn will also be able to continue their education to degree level while developing their football careers within the EVO-STIK League.
When not studying, students train on a daily basis with UEFA qualified coaches while competing in the NPL Youth League and the FA Youth Cup. In April, Mickleover Sports won the NPLFA's youth league for the third season running while Warrington Town's stars of the future lifted the inaugural NPLFA Cup at Stole City's Bet365 Stadium.
The exploits of the NPLFA’s stars are not going unnoticed either. Since last season the NPLFA has been recording all its matches for coaching and publicity purposes, the footage shot by FilmMyMatch before the clips are edited into highlights packages for viewers on the academy’s website and busy social media channels.
To see the NPLFA's latest promotional videos and success stories, follow on Twitter at @NPLFA or visit: www.nplfa.co.uk. For more information on the degree courses contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images courtesy of nplfa.co.uk
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