Two Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team first team players will be heading to the USA after completing the Shadow Youth Team programme in association with Burnley FC in the Community (BFCitC) and Nelson and Colne College.
Joe Kouadio, 19, and Lewis Richmond, 18, both joined the Shadow Youth Team programme for the 2015/16 academic year, and they have now accepted scholarship offers in America. Joe will combine further education and football at Valparaiso University, while Lewis will do them same at Western Texas College.
During his time with the Shadow Youth Team, Joe was selected to represent the highly-regarded Nike Academy and competed against academies all over the world.
When Nike closed the Academy in 2017, Joe returned to complete his studies. Alongside scoring plenty of goals, he has achieved his BTEC Sport Level 3 Extended Diploma through his academic work, while also making appearances for Colne FC in the Evo-Stick West Division.
Lewis also had an outstanding time both on and off the field. While captaining the Shadow Youth Team first team from midfield, he achieved his Triple Distinction* in BTEC Sport Level 3 Extended Diploma and a C in A-Level Psychology. Like Joe, he has made his way into the English football pyramid by playing for National League North side Southport FC.
Lewis said: “My three years with the Shadow Youth Team have been full of positive experiences, including playing at professional football club’s training grounds and stadiums and being part of an overseas training camp.
“I have been very well supported by the staff and I just want to thank them for everything they have for me over the last few years. They have made my time on the course very memorable and now I can’t wait to move to America and see what the future holds!”
Burnley Shadow Youth Team Head Coach, Chris Andrews, said: “We wish Lewis and Joe the best of luck in their new adventures and we look forward to tracking their progress over the next three years.
“Both of them have excelled in their studies and on the pitch, working hard, achieving outstanding academic results and playing to a high level which has seen them receive fantastic scholarship opportunities in America.”
If you’re looking to combine football with academic studies and want more information on the Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team programme, please visit https://www.burnleyfccommunity.org/education/shadow-youth-team/.