Fakenham Town director of football Geoff Saunders believes the future is bright at the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side, after the club announced its intentions to launch a full-time Academy.
The Clipbush Park club are setting up their own system to build on the success of their current youth programme which has seen countless young players progress to the first team in recent years.
The Academy, which will be run in partnership with Fakenham College and Onside Sports Training Ltd, will offer players the chance to further their education after leaving school while also receiving increased football coaching.
Saunders said: “We are setting this up to give the club a more professional way of bringing teenagers into football when they leave school.
“We will have an education room at Clipbush Park and we will be looking to get that sponsored as it is a facility that will allow us to use it for other purposes when it is not being used for the Academy.
“This is going to be an excellent facility for our local teenagers who want to get into football when they leave school while allowing them to benefit from further education, and it is also going to strengthen our reserves and first team as a football club.”
Teenagers joining the Academy will undertake a Level 3 Apprenticeship, which will allow them to achieve further qualifications in sport as well as core academic subjects.
The two-year apprenticeship will see them work towards a BTEC Diploma in Sport (Sports Development), an NVQ in Sports Development and a Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning – all of which are accredited by Edexcel – along with Functional Skills qualifications in Maths and English.
It is also rumoured that the club are close to appointing a new permanent manager, with Robbie Harris and Neil Jarvis in temporary joint charge following the departure of the Wayne Anderson to Dereham Town Reserves back in March, and an announcement could be made later this week.