Students at the Northern Premier League Football Academy are preparing for an historic match.
For the first time ever, two sides playing in the NPL Youth League are set to compete under floodlights when the youngsters at Mossley and Radcliffe Borough kick off at Seel Park on Monday 14 March.
Organisers say admission to the 6.30pm kick-off at Mossley's home is free with the media also invited and a big crowd supplemented by the friends and families of the players involved also expected. As well providing PA announcements throughout the match and a programme, Mossley's matchday facilities will also be available for supporters.
The Lilywhites are planning to publicise the fixture to fans when they host Spennymoor Town in First Division North on Saturday and a spokesman said: "It will be a fantastic chance for the students to experience the unique atmosphere of a floodlit game on a semi-professional club ground.
"We see this as a great opportunity to showcase the academy league for the friends, relatives and supporters of both clubs so they can come along and see the up-and-coming talent on display."
Launched in 2014 at five pilot clubs, the ground-breaking NPLFA is expanding to 12 clubs in September after the EVO-STIK NPL was widely hailed for becoming the first league in English football to operate a youth league and academy combining football with further education.
Well over 200 students are expected to be studying on two year courses for Level 3 Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications when the NPLFA's clubs welcome next season's intake in September.
While studying, students also train on a daily basis with UEFA qualified coaches and compete in the NPL Youth League and national competitions like the FA Youth Cup.
The NPLFA's nine current clubs are Belper Town, Leek Town, Kidsgrove Athletic, Matlock Town, Mickleover Sports, Mossley AFC, Radcliffe Borough, Sutton Coldfield Town and Warrington Town. Witton Albion, Lancaster City and one other unnamed club have already successfully applied to join next season.
For more information or to apply to join the NPLFA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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