Students preparing for new pro test

1 week ago By David Watters

The stars of the NPLFA are taking on Port Vale in the first inter-league fixture of the 2016-17 season for the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League's ground-breaking academy.

The NPL Football Academy side - created last season to reward the best students and showcase the programme's talent - will host the League One club's stars in a 7pm kick-off at Kidsgrove Athletic on Monday 10 April.

In their first outing against Oldham Athletic at Radcliffe Borough last May the NPLFA's representative side won 2-0 before losing 4-0 to a strong and talented Accrington Stanley at Mossley's Seel Park two weeks later.

The NPLFA's coaches are set to announce the squad in early March for the clash which is still subject to being rescheduled to fit around Port Vale's upcoming fixtures.

An NPLFA spokesman said: “We are excited the inter-league games have returned. Both games last year were a fantastic spectacle which were both well received by students, their families and friends and the professional clubs who were impressed with our talent and hospitality.

"We would like to thank Mick Ede and everyone at Port Vale for agreeing to play us and also to Ian Cooper and everyone at Port Vale for allowing us the use of their lovely ground with a superb surface that will suit both our students and Port Vale Scholars alike.”

Founded with the backing of the Football Association at five pilot clubs in September 2014 to provide career pathways into the football industry and still the only league wide academy in English football, the NPLFA is expanding to 13 clubs for the 2017-18 season in September.

Before expanding to 11 EVO-STIK NPL clubs this season, the NPLFA entered into a strategic partnership with Global Premier Soccer, the world’s leading provider of sports scholarships in the United States. A deal was also signed last summer to film every match students play in the NPL Youth League.

For the second year running, the best of the NPLFA's students will also be honoured at the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League's Player of the Year Awards in April when Welsh legend Dean Saunders will be handing out the accolades in front of more than 300 guests at the plush Brooklands Holiday Inn near Barnsley.

For more information and to see the NPLFA's latest promotional videos, follow the NPLFA on Twitter at @NPLFA or visit: www.nplfa.co.uk.

To apply to join the NPLFA, prospective students should register their details at www.nplfa.co.uk/register or e-mail info@nplfa.co.uk.

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Where next?

Next generation of stars on show EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Leek Town are looking forward to hosting England's next generation of stars at Harrison Park on Friday night.
New stadium sponsors secured EVO-STIK Northern Premier League promotion-chasers Newcastle Town are celebrating a major sponsorship boost ahead of the run-in to the 2016-17 campaign.

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