Nurturing future talent

NEW Mills AFC has launched its Centre of Excellence.

The Millers took the decision earlier this year to invest in a full-time scholarship programme. Trials were held in April, with 80 boys applying for the 32 places on offer.

Since then, club coaches have completed their Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector qualification, allowing them to support the teachers and assessors already working at the Football Development Centre (FDC), all of whom are UEFA ‘B’ and FA Level 2 qualified. Major investment at the FDC at Egerton Youth Club, Knutsford, has created a state-of-the-art classroom, treatment gym and physiotherapy room.

The Millers’ youth teams play in the North West Youth Alliance, with the reserves playing in the Lancashire Football League, and the club’s senior side in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. In addition to this, the youth team has seen boys selected for the county sides at Cheshire FA and Manchester FA, the Macclesfield District FA Youth side, the select team at Manchester City and the English Schools FA regional side.

For the current season, the number of courses available has been increased meaning that as well as the NVQ 2 & 3 Sport Qualifications, the club will now include the BTEC Sports AS and A Level, The BTEC Award in Exercise and Fitness Instruction and the FA Level 2 Treatment and Management of Injury.

The club has negotiated with the new Salford City Reds stadium in Irlam to recruit and deliver Scholarships in Football starting in January 2012. The aim will be to train local young adults for a future career in their chosen sport.

Applications are invited for next season from players aged between 16 and 19, who have been released, or are due to be released, from local professional clubs.