About Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team

About Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team

The Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team (SYT) programme is delivered by Burnley FC in the Community staff in partnership with the Nelson and Colne College Group. 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.


  • Students will train four times a week following a playing and development strategy under the guidance of our UEFA licenced coaches
  • Players will be given opportunities to partake in position specific training
  • Full time UEFA Goalkeeping coach


  • Students have the option to study at one of our two campuses (Nelson & Colne College and Accrington & Rossendale College) both which are part of the Nelson & Colne College Group
  • Students will study a full-time BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport Coaching and Development (equivalent to three A Levels) under the guidance of the Nelson & Colne College Group’s highly qualified staff
  • Classes are delivered over a two-year period and combine theory and practical sessions. Students are assessed through external exams, observed practical assessments, written assignments, presentations and professional discussions
  • The units covered within the BTEC include: Sports Coaching, Nutrition, Sports Psychology and Work Experience
  • Our academic programme allows students to develop the essential skills, knowledge and qualifications required to progress into a career in sport and leisure, either directly, or through progressing into higher education
  • Students will have the opportunity to complete their FA Level 1 in Football Coaching alongside their academic subjects which includes emergency aid and safeguarding qualifications


  • Students will represent Burnley FC in the National Football Youth League & English Football League (EFL) Community & Education Football Alliance, playing against other professional clubs
  • The league and cup competitions that we participate in are exclusively for development teams from Premier League and Football League clubs, providing students with a football experience that is as close to Academy football as possible
  • Games are often played at professional club training grounds, non-league grounds and occasionally First Team stadiums
  • Overseas, end of season training camps/tournaments provide excellent opportunities to train and play in different countries whilst experiencing different cultures


  • We allow players to physically and mentally develop by tailoring training sessions around their current needs whilst also pushing them in a non-pressurised way to becoming a better, more confident player and person


Click HERE to find out what former SYT players have to say about the course and what they have gone on to do thanks to their experience with Burnley FC. 


  • Play in Burnley FC official home and away kits
  • Students are provided with FREE Burnley FC Training kit
  • Individual and squad photo’s at Turf Moor
  • Opportunities to showcase talent through access to NFYL and English Schools/English Counties representative squads trials
  • Access to fully qualified Physiotherapists
  • Strength and conditioning programmes to carry out in the onsite gym
  • Fixtures are filmed and analysed
  • Nutrition guidance
  • Career support


To enrol onto our BTEC Sport Level 3 Extended Diploma, students will need at least five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English (Grade 4).

A  Level 2 course option is available for those who do not meet the requirements, subject to an interview.

More Information

For more information on the Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team please contact Head of Football Development, Chris Andrews, on c.andrews@burnleyfc.com.

Contact Chris