Acad­e­mies in merger to of­fer path­way

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Services -

THE North­ern Premier League Foot­ball Academy (NPLFA), the South­ern League Foot­ball Academy (SLFA) and the Isth­mian League Foot­ball Academy (ILFA) have merged to be­come the Ed­u­ca­tion and Semi-Pro­fes­sional Foot­ball Academy (ESPFA).

The ESPFA was orig­i­nally de­vel­oped as the over­ar­ch­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion of the three step seven leagues - North­ern Premier League, South­ern League and Isth­mian League ed­u­ca­tion and foot­ball pro­grammes and the merger of all three un­der one of­fi­cial brand brings new op­por­tu­ni­ties and ex­pe­ri­ences for all stu­dents and clubs in­volved.

The NPLFA was cre­ated in part­ner­ship with Elite­form LTD and the North­ern Premier League in 2014 to be­come the first ever league wide ed­u­ca­tion and foot­ball pro­gramme in the UK.

An ini­tial pi­lot pro­gramme that be­gan in 2014/15 saw 75 stu­dents en­rol at five mem­ber clubs and the suc­cess from the in­au­gu­ral year saw the pro­gramme ex­pand to more than 300 stu­dents at 13 clubs by 2019. In 2018 the South­ern League joined and a year later, the SLFA be­gan with seven mem­ber clubs and more than 100 stu­dents.

Soon af­ter in 2019, the Isth­mian League be­came the third and fi­nal league at step seven of the English na­tional pyra­mid sys­tem to join.

With the ILFA Sched­uled to be­gin in 2021, the ESPFA was es­tab­lished as an over­ar­ch­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion to man­age all three-in­di­vid­ual league pro­grammes across the na­tion and has ap­peared on all mar­ket­ing through­out the 2019/20 sea­son.

The ESPFA is now the ‘of­fi­cial fur­ther and higher ed­u­ca­tion part­ners of the North­ern Premier League, the South­ern League and the Isth­mian League.’

The state­ment quoted: “An ex­cit­ing new chap­ter awaits with the new or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­vid­ing new and im­proved path­ways on and off the pitch, new ex­pe­ri­ences and op­por­tu­ni­ties, more com­pet­i­tive games, more flex­i­bil­ity on com­pe­ti­tions as well as open­ing up new club part­ners from other leagues.

The new brand­ing will fur­ther strengthen our ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ships with all three leagues and Elite­form LTD would like to thank all league of­fi­cials in­volved for their sup­port over the pre­vi­ous six years”.

Si­mon Driscoll

Skelmers­dale United’s se­nior team in ac­tion

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