Larkhall Athletic are delighted to announced that they have joined the Southern League Football Academy (SLFA) – the brand new education and football academy of the Evo-Stik South.

An Education and Football Academy side for 16-18 year olds will be created at Larkhall Athletic and play in the SLFA with opportunities to play in the FA Youth Cup from September 2019.

The SLFA is the sister programme of the impressive NPL Football Academy (NPLFA) for fellow step seven league – The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League – and we are now on the lookout for talented and committed young footballers who are eager to take their first steps to a career in the semi-professional game and more importantly study to earn educational qualifications.

The Larkhall Athletic Academy is a full-time course which is an alternative to college where students will study for a BTEC in Sport at Level 2 or Level 3 (Diploma and Extended Diploma available which is the equivalent to two/three A Levels) which will be delivered by a tutor in the mornings before a UEFA qualified football coach will train the students in the afternoons as well as manage the side on Wednesday afternoons against fellow SLFA sides such as Frome Town, Chesham United and Swindon Supermarine. All games will take place at the main grounds of all the Evo-Stik South clubs involved and filmed for analysis with the weekly highlights show that is published every Friday evening.

It’s sister programme – the NPLFA – has been a huge success on and off the pitch with over 750 students enrolling over the past four years and many of those progressing onto university, scholarships in the US, the programmes own sports degree course or employment and as of October 2018, fifty students have progressed to their respective first teams with two students progressing to the professional game and that success will now be implemented in the South.

By being a part of Larkhall Athletic there are genuine pathways to play for the first team and with the football programme being held between Monday and Friday, students will still be able to play for their local junior sides at the weekend.

Chairman Paul Rankin commented “We are delighted to have joined the SPL Football Academy. As a Community Charter Standard Club, we see this as a natural progression which fits in with our vision to be embedded in the Local Community.  Working with the SPLFA we will create a full time education and football academy, we have been impressed with the growth of the SPLFA and their reputation for running successful academies. This initiative fits with our club development strategy being involved in the community and we are looking forward to working with the SPL Football Academy and making it a success.”

Manager Phil Bater commented“I have encouraged the Club to develop this academy to help build a sustainable future and to provide a potential pathway for players within the Club’s thriving Youth section to progress their careers to the senior level.  I want those young lads and girls in Bath to know if they join the programme, develop over the two years and show the ability required they will be given a chance at this football club. In addition, and importantly this programme provides an opportunity to also gain educational qualifications.

There are a few organisations delivering this type of programme, however when you look at the quality, the concept and the growth of the SPLFA in such a short space of time, it shows it is being developed correctly. 

There are a maximum of twenty-two places available for the Larkhall Athletic Academy with trials to be arranged in October 2018, December 2018, February 2019, April 2019 and May 2019.

The first trial will take place on WEDNESDAY 31ST OCTOBER, from 2PM – 3.30PM at ODD DOWN SPORTS GROUND 3G PITCH, CHELWOOD DRIVE, BATH, BA2 2PR.

Trialists will need to bring full training kit (your own), shin pads, boots suitable for 3G surface, trainers for the gym and a drink.

To register your interest in the Academy, please complete the application form HERE.