Report this comment
  • "Congratulations to Witton Albion FC on this initiative."
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.

  • Enter the above word in the box below

Witton Albion picked for pilot as Northern Premier League launches its own academy

Witton to take Academy test

Witton to take Academy test

First published in Football Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Writer

WITTON Albion have been picked to take part in a pilot scheme for teenagers that combines playing competitive football with studying for a qualification.

The Northern Premier League Academy, to be made up of 10 clubs, starts a two-year run in September.

Boys, aged between 16 and 18, can attempt to impress coaches during a trial at Wincham Park on Tuesday, from 6pm, with more planned in the coming weeks.

The programme will complement, not replace, Albion’s existing youth team.

“This will give the club another string to its bow,” said chairman Mark Harris.

“It fits in with what we’re all about, which is making a contribution to the community around us.

“If we can find talented young players to send up through our structure, then that’s an added bonus.

“Primarily though, this is about providing an opportunity for school leavers to make a first step to a career in the semi-professional game and beyond.

“Not every student will go on to make a contribution as a player. However, the course can play a role in introducing the next generation of administrators and volunteers into the sport – we hope – at non-league level.

The project, sanctioned by the Football Association, is the first of its kind in the English game.

An initial intake of 200 students, spread evenly between the participating clubs, will study for a BTEC Level 3 in Sport.

Those chosen to represent Witton will work with an FA-licensed coach at the club’s home ground, in Northwich, for 20 hours a week.

They will play some of their matches there, with others planned for a pitch nearby.

Harris said: “I’m confident our Academy team can fit into our existing structure.

“If the lads are good enough, then there will be a chance for them to play in our youth side which has enjoyed success under Mick Duckett.”

Indeed, Witton lost to eventual winners Warrington Town at the semi-finals stage of last season’s Cheshire FA Youth Cup.

For further details, or to register, visit

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree