The Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team programme is delivered by Burnley FC in the Community staff in partnership with Nelson and Colne College. The programme gives talented young players between the ages of 16 and 18 the chance to combine academic studies with practical football experience. It is designed to bridge the gap between grassroots and academy football.
Players on the Shadow Youth Team will train daily and play on a competitive basis, which is an experience similar to football academies nationwide. In addition to the training, players will complete a BTEC Sport Level 3 Extended Diploma with the support and guidance of the highly-skilled teaching staff at Nelson and Colne College.
The Shadow Youth Team first team plays in the National Football Youth League Premier Division which is as close to academy football as you can get because the league is solely for Premier League and Football League clubs. Each league hosts a demanding and high standard of football through which players may progress to Burnley FC’s official Under 18s, Under 23s or even the first team. All players are provided with free Football Club training kit.
We provide players with the skills required to help them progress to a higher standard of education and football, as well as giving them the necessary experience to work within community football coaching and other areas of the sports industry. Players will receive training in football coaching leading to Football Association (FA) coaching badges, emergency aid and a grounding in safeguarding issues and practice.
All courses are staffed by fully qualified professionals both on and off the field. This allows flexibility for students to choose from a combination of pathways to match their ability, aptitude, interests and aspirations. The Shadow Youth Team package is a fantastic opportunity for young people keen to develop their talent on the football pitch and find a route into a career in football coaching, the leisure/sports industry or University.