The Football and Education Academy in conjunction with the EFL, is one of the latest programmes organised by our Port Vale Foundation and has proved to be extremely popular amongst those who have taken part.
The Academy encourages students in the age range of 16 to 18 years old to join who have just left school in Year 11. Boys and girls have the chance to join the programme and then train three to four times a week with a game on a Wednesday.
The first team play their league games in the EFL Community and Education Alliance league and all their home games at Northwood Stadium, which our Football Development Officer, Kyle Adams describes as a "brilliant setting" and "lucky to have".
As well as being treated as close to a Port Vale scholar as possible, they also continue their education at Stoke on Trent Collage where they get to study whatever course they like. They are provided with the official Port Vale kit and training kit, with UEFA B Qualified coaches mentoring the players so they're training and playing in a professional environment.
Football Development Officer, Kyle Adams, is delighted to see the players enjoying the programme so much and praises the enthusiasm showed by everyone.
"They're all enjoying it at the moment. We've had a few games, we've lost a couple but we're doing OK and the lads are always improving. It's the first year of the programme so we're expecting there to be a few hiccups along the way.
"It's going along nicely and the ladies have had their first game as well the other day. It's fantastic to see that they could've gone with other colleges and picked other programmes but they chose us, so it's good to see.
"They're getting treated like scholars, they're loving wearing the badge every Wednesday, going into college in their tracksuits and proud to represent the club which they're doing in a sense all week."