Not only is the NPLFA continuing to give youngsters an opportunity with Aron McGrath making it debut number twenty-eight in just its third full year of existence, but also it can now boast successes in the coaching side of the programme. Keith Southern made it coach number two to be taken into the full time professional game when he progressed to Premier League side Everton, following on from Nick Chadwick who moved to Championship bound Wigan Athletic.
An NPLFA spokesman said, “We are delighted that we have been a stepping stone for Nick and Keith both who are excellent coaches and have been great for the programme, with Nick helping us organise the inter-league game with Wigan Athletic. It shows we have talented coaches all delivering the quality you would expect in a programme such as this.” He added, “No similar type of programme has achieved such a pathway and if you add Tom Donlon (Belper Town) and Kyle Adams (Kidsgrove Athletic) who both moved onto Football Development positions at Port Vale and Sheffield Wednesday respectfully to join Witton Albion’s Avron Franklin and Leek Town’s John Mayer (Port Vale Academy coaches), it has been a real boost for the coaches involved in the programme in terms of progression into professional clubs”
Current coaches also continue to make a name for themselves in the Evo-Stik League with Andy Dales (Mickleover Sports) and Evan Garnett (Carlton Town) amongst the goals for Mickleover recently whilst Jamie Yates (Matlock Town) represents Sheffield FC. “Its great the students can see first hand the route and current pathway the coaches have taken which is playing and getting further qualified and they can relate to that, both Andy (Dales) and Evan (Garnett) also have an excellent mentor in John McGrath”
A new addition to the calibre of quality experienced coaches joining Anthony Hemmings (Belper Town), Simon Bell (Kidsgrove Athletic), Carl Vickers (Matlock Town), Paul Bennett (Mossley), Paul Lines (Ossett Albion), Pete Lofthouse (Radcliffe), Steve Hinks (Sutton Coldfield Town), Mark Baker and Martyn Irvine (Warrington Town) is former FC United manager of 12 years Karl Marginson who has recently joined the coaching set up at Radcliffe FC.