Lancashire TelegraphDarwen academy’s football links to continue (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Darwen academy’s football links to continue

Lancashire Telegraph: Garry Flitcroft Garry Flitcroft

DARWEN Aldridge Community Academy’s link with semi-professional Chorley FC is to continue for the foreseeable future, said the Magpies boss.

DACA’s Football Academy was launched in 2012, in partnership with the then Evo Stik Premier League side.

It means the top youngsters from the academy can net semi-professional deals with the club, which last season won promotion to the Skrill North, just two promotions outside the Football League.

Former Blackburn Rovers captain Garry Flitcroft, who runs the Victoria Park outfit with former Rovers colleague and striker Matt Jansen, said he hoped youngsters from Darwen would soon make the grade at Chorley.

He said: “We had two lads that came in last season and did okay. They just weren’t physically ready at this stage of their development.

“Matt Jansen has got the new crop of lads together and I will go down on Wednesday nights and if I see any lads who are looking ready, they can come and train with us.”

Flitcroft, who played 248 times for the Ewood Park club after signing from Manchester City in 1996, said the chance to train with Jansen was a real boost for the youngsters.

He said: “The good thing about Matt is it helps him with the coaching side of it. It is great for the lads at DACA and he feeds back to me about how they are getting on. The hope is that a young lad from Darwen will get into the first team.”

Flitcroft added that as the club progresses, it may look to develop its own in-house academy, but there was nothing imminently planned.

He said: “We are happy with the partnership and it will continue.

“We may look at doing our own academy as we progress up the leagues, but things are looking good at Darwen.”

DACA principal Brendan Loughran said: “We have been delighted with the success of the partnership with Chorley FC. The 2013/14 season has been a great success with the first XI winning the Lancashire Cup and we are looking forward to continuing that success.”

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