As part of the ever expanding development of the youth set-up at Hednesford Town Football Club, we are pleased to confirm that from this season we shall also be entering an U18 side into the newly formed NPL Football Academy.
The team will be run as a development team for our Elite Academy First Team, being run in conjunction with BMET College in order to also provide players with an education.
Home games will be played on Wednesday afternoons on the 3G surface at Boldmere St Michaels, with the team being managed by Ian Parkes.
The NPL Football Academy, run in conjunction with the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, is the first in English football to launch an FA sanctioned youth league combining football with further education.
The programme runs alongside existing youth set-ups at participating clubs, offering the best of each year’s intake the chance to play academy and senior non-league football in the clubs main stadia at a level that has a fantastic reputation throughout football.
Evo-Stik NPL Chairman Mark Harris said:
“We are very proud to be leading the way again with the backing of the FA and the expertise of Eliteform in managing the programme. There are many academies and numerous youth leagues but the NPL Football Academy is the first to combine both at this level.
“The NPL Football Academy we feel will create a pool of player talent for clubs to draw upon and benefit from directly as well as offering young people a fantastic pathway into the sporting industry through the qualifications and the real experience our clubs will be delivering.
“Not every student will go on to have a career as a player and together with greater community engagement for the clubs, they’ll also be playing a vital role in introducing the next generation of administrators and volunteers into sport and we hope, non-league football and in particular the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.”
The new season kicks off on Wednesday 28th September and the league campaign will consist of 12 regular season games with each team playing the others home and away. Once the season has concluded there will be a grand final between the winners of both leagues to determine who will be the 2016/17 NPL Football Academy Champions and lift the Jordan Burndred Memorial Trophy.
Also for the first time this season, there will be a cup competition between all the sides which will ensure there will be plenty of football on offer for all of our students.
HTFC U18 fixtures: (afternoon ko)
Wednesday 28th September – Mossley v Hednesford Town
Wednesday 5th October – Matlock Town (Royal) v Hednesford Town (2pm)
Wednesday 19th October – Leek Town v Hednesford Town
Wednesday 2nd November – Witton Albion v Hednesford Town
Wednesday 9th November – Hednesford Town v Radcliffe Borough (Black)
Wednesday 16th November – Hednesford Town v Mickleover Sports (Black)
Wednesday 23rd November – Hednesford Town v Mossley
Wednesday 30th November – Hednesford Town v Matlock Town (Royal)
Wednesday 14th December – Hednesford Town v Leek Town
Wednesday 11th January – Hednesford Town v Witton Albion
Wednesday 18th January – Radcliffe Borough (Black) v Hednesford Town
Wednesday 25th January – Mickleover Sports (Black) v Hednesford Town