Kirklees College has announced a partnership with AFC Emley to create a football academy involving the club’s under-19 squad.
Emley youngsters have won the league twice in a row and are still in the hunt to complete a hat-trick of titles this season.
The team competes in the Northern Alliance with the likes of Harrogate Railway Athletic and Frickley Athletic.
AFC Emley’s first team already features several graduates from the youth set-up including regulars Jordan Townend and Ruben Jerome.
The first team are just one game away from promotion to the NCE League Premier Division.
And in striker Ashley Flynn, they have one of non-league football’s hottest properties. He has scored a staggering 80 goals this time although seven have been wiped off the record because a team has left the league.
Emley’s vice-chairman Joanna Dickens said: “The tie-up gives certainty and sustainability to the under-19 team.
“It’s the bedrock of how we develop young players from this age group to the development squad and, ultimately, the first team.
“Working with an organisation like Kirklees College also throws down yet another marker about how we do things at Emley.
“We’re striving to improve all areas of the club – on and off the field – and partnerships like this only strengthen what we’re trying to achieve.”
Head of sport at Kirklees College, Christian Thersby, said: “We are very pleased and excited about this opportunity.
“It will provide students the opportunity to play football at a high level in a very competitive environment with the potential to progress into playing semi-professional football.
“Students will be given the opportunity to study at Kirklees College with football training built around their timetable.
“Learners will get six hours a week structured football coaching from highly qualified coaches and will then have the opportunity on a weekly basis to playing the highly competitive colleges league as well as the U19’s Northern Alliance league.”
Emley first team boss Darren Hepworth said: “This partnership has the potential to produce home grown players from the local community to progress and play for the first team.
“With the high quality coaching at Kirklees College and with us I am looking forward to a good number of first team players coming from our new U19 academy system with Kirklees College.”
Trials will take place soon. For more information about Kirklees College Sports Academy visit www.kirkleescollege.ac.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01484 437070.