The Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team is Burnley FC in the Community’s football and education programme in partnership with Nelson and Colne College.
The programme offers talented young players the chance to develop and progress while continuing their education. Training and playing regularly in a competitive scenario, the programme has seen players earn scholarships in the USA, pathways into higher levels of football and coaching or a route into University.
One of those players is Nathan Porter, who is now part of Burnley FC’s Academy system – here’s his story…
Eddy Griffiths – Shadow Youth Team Development Coach
We first met Nathan in 2015 when he was training at what was then the Burnley FC Player Development Centre.
After a number of weeks observing his abilities playing for the U13s, I decided to move Nathan up in the U14s group, to further challenge him.
Nathan then spent the remainder of the season playing with the U14s before progressing again into the pre-Shadow Youth Team U15s.
At each stage, both Nathan’s technical and tactical abilities have continued to impress all the coaching staff across both training and fixtures. So much so, he was recommended to Burnley FC’s Academy and he was placed on a 6-weeks trial period with the U14s. Once again, his performances have impressed and Nathan has now signed with the Academy until the end of the season.
To see Nathan’s progression from grassroots and to the Player Development Centre, to the pre-Shadow Youth Team and finally onto the Academy has been fantastic to see. It is absolutely a testament not only to his abilities but to his exemplary attitude.
I started playing with the Player Development Centre three years ago and it’s from there that I was challenged to keep progressing. It’s been a great journey so far and I’m thrilled to have signed with the Burnley FC Academy until the end of the season. I would like to thank Eddy and all of the other coaching staff who have all helped me develop as a player over the past few years.
Chris Andrews – Shadow Youth Team Head Coach
The Pre-Shadow Youth Team was set up to provide talented grassroots players with further football development opportunities. The aim is to give players the time to develop physically, mentally, socially, technically and tactically.
The players take part in regular training sessions as well as fixtures against Academy and non-league teams. We are fortunate to have a good link with the Academy and this allows us to recommend players as and when we feel they are ready to make the next step up.
Nathan has done extremely well to progress through Burnley FC in the Community’s player pathway and secure a place in Burnley FC’s U14s Academy side. The coaches and staff at Burnley FC in the Community wish Nathan good luck for the remainder of the season!