Aspiring footballers and coaches have the chance to join a coveted programme delivered by Burnley FC in the Community and Nelson and Colne College.

Trials are set to take place at the college on Thursday 31 May and Tuesday 3 July from 12 noon until 3pm, where talented young players have the chance to earn themselves a place on the Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team and ultimately kick-start their career.

The programme gives talented young players between the ages of 16-18 the chance to combine academic studies with practical football experience. Training daily and playing on a competitive basis, in a similar experience to football academies nationwide, players will also complete a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport Performance and Business with the support and guidance of expert staff at Nelson and Colne College.

The Shadow Youth Team first team plays in the National Football Youth League, a league solely for Premier League and Football League clubs, through which players may progress to Burnley FC’s official under 18s, under 21s or even the first team.

Sixteen qualified fitness instructors and 27 newly qualified FA Level 1 coaches were created through the Shadow Youth Team in 2016/17, with one student Harry Pate gaining a job as a Disability Development Coach at Burnley FC in the Community, and others progressing on to university or employment.

Director of Education and Inclusion at Burnley FC in the Community Matt Parish said: “The Shadow Youth Team package is a brilliant opportunity for young people keen to develop their talent on the football pitch and find a route into a career in football coaching, the leisure/sports industry or university.

“The programme provides them with the experience and skills required to do this and we’ve seen fantastic progression in a short space of time since its launch in 2015. We look forward to this continuing, and also welcoming the next wave of talent at our upcoming trial dates.”

Female footy players are also being encouraged to sign up to the Burnley FC Girls’ Academy, delivered in partnership with Nelson and Colne College. Girls aged 16-18 can join the programme, which mirrors the boys’ Shadow Youth Team by combining football playing skills with academic practice.

Trials will take place on Tuesday 29 May and Thursday 5 July, between 12 noon and 2pm, at Nelson and Colne College.

This exciting academy scheme offers a range of benefits including, but not limited to:

  • The choice of a large selection of BTEC and A Level programmes delivered by Nelson and Colne College
  • Eight hours of dedicated coaching per week from qualified Burnley FC in the Community coaches
  • Emphasis on enhancing technical skills and ability, while supporting educational and career development

To find out more information about the Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team, contact Shadow Youth Team Head Coach Chris Andrews on 01282 704716, email or sign up for a trial at

To find out more information about the Burnley FC Girls’ Academy, contact Female Football Development Coach Taylor Gregson on 01282 704716, email or sign up for a trial at

More information on the Shadow Youth Team can be found here and more information on the Girls’ Academy is here.