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Burnley football academy is looking to bridge the gap
A BURNLEY-based academy is looking to bridge the gap between local amateur football and the semi professional game.
Mentors in Excellence Football Scheme (MEFS) launches a new training centre later this month that will be based at Marsden Heights Community College.
The Academy is hoping to build on the success it has already had in helping players link up with Non League teams across the North West.
The emphasis will be on ‘player centered development’ and the academy, which launches on Monday, October 21 will target players aged between 14 and 24-years-old.
MEFS has a dedicated team of coaches – headed up by founder Majid Shafiq, a UEFA ‘A’ Licence coach who is a sports scientist – and have recruited Manchester City scouts Martin Trickett and Alan Fielding who will assist with regular player gradings.
MEFS was formed in 2011 by Shafiq who also helped set-up Stalybridge Celtic’s Football Academy which now has more than 70 players aged 16-years-old and over and is one of the biggest professional academies set up outside of the top two divisions.
Due to the success of the Stalybridge academy, the MEFS project was put on hold last year but by that time they had already helped more than 20 footballers find Non League clubs – including Kamran Khan who played for Hyde FC, Jos Shephered who went to play for Perth in Australia and Jon Ashworth who was at Clitheroe.
“Our Academy is unique as we have developed very good club links in the whole region after supporting the development of players who have gone to clubs like Hyde FC, Stalybridge Celtic, Guiseley, Clitheroe and many semi professional clubs within a 50 mile radius of Burnley,” said Shafiq who is from Bolton but has lived in East Lancashire since 2007.
“We take on players who are already at a club and wish to improve and we run a 42-week yearly programme that is broken down in to six mini cycles.
“Our methods are similar to those used at clubs like Ajax and German clubs with a well planned player centred approach.
“We provide player feedback from the onset and all players are graded every seven weeks and follow their own MEFS player performance plan.
“We assess all the technical, physical, phychological and elite match characteristics in each player after seven weeks of intensive player centred training.”
The Academy has been busy recruiting players, most recently holding trials at the Etihad Complex, next to Manchester City’s home ground, and has a total of 36 places available.
It is also has several oppotunities for talented coaches who wish to get involved and are appealing to those who already have an FA coaching qualification or studying or has graduated from a sports related degree.
“We feel we could accommodate up to three ambitious coaches keen to learn about sport science in football,” added Shafiq.
MEFS has been trailing the new Fast Feet Matrix, a training tool developed by the Matrix Group in Somerset and is already being used in North America and Canada.
“We are the first Academy to use this football training system to combine with the sports science tools that we already use to develop our players,” said Shafiq.
For more details on MEFS, go to mefsfootballacademy.co.uk and download and fill in an application form.
Also information is available by ringing 07886 683004
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