Former Pro-Footballers to Launch Football Apprenticeship Programme

Former Pro-Footballers to Launch Football Apprenticeship Programme

Press Release ( - NOTTINGHAM, England - May 26, 2016 - This grass-roots Academy will deliver Apprenticeships to 16-18 year olds and offerplayers a unique entry route to a sports education pathway or a professional career in football. Through relationships with professional league and non-league clubs and a Major League Soccer team, graduates of DNF could find themselves realizing their dreams of being a pro footballer here in the UK or oversees. Priding themselves on equal opportunities the programme will be free of any charges and instead will pay players a national apprenticeship wage whilst gifting them with a complete Macrontraining kit.

Kicking off with trials this May and June those lucky enough to be selected will find themselves with an unmatched opportunity to follow their dreams. Not only will players earn whilst they learn but they will also train at Nottingham Trent University’s Clifton Campus, which boasts brand new, first-class facilities. As a result, players will be given early insight to a university environment thus making for an education experience like no other.

Having entered the sport as juniors themselves and going onto play at Premiership, National and International levels Draper and Norton not only speak the right language but it places them in an unrivalled position to impart genuine and invaluable advice on the realities of a professional footballing career at the top.

The programme has been founded on the principle that to learn how to play football, players must immerse themselves in all aspects of football. Through a combination of practical pitch time, and academic learning, which incorporates nutrition, physiotherapy and psychology, the programme will equip learners with a holistic understanding of the Sport. This all-inclusive framework will teach players the skill, knowledge and attitude to succeed in their chosen field and offers it’s graduates the choice to pursue a career as a pro-footballer or to further their education within football or sport more broadly.

Former Aston Villa & Notts County Defender, David Norton said: “I was fortunate to have experienced a top class apprenticeship with league and European champions Aston Villa in 1981-83.  It was a very challenging experience to gain a pro – contract at 18, but I succeeded not only with my ability but the attitude to learn and commit myself totally. I’m now in the privileged position to help pass on that experience and knowledge to the players who want to succeed in their chosen career.”

Former Aston Villa & Notts County Midfielder, Mark Draper said: “My career spans 18 years as a professional footballer playing in some of the best stadiums and players in the world and under some of the top managers of their time including Glenn Hoddle, Brian Little and Neil Warnock. I’ve also worked in professional Academy’s and clubs as a coach and served my apprenticeship in a similar role. Talent is only half of it, they have to have the right attitude and through my years of experience I aim to ensure players are fully prepared for a professional career at the top.”

Footballing Legend, Stan Collymore said:DNF represents a perfect platform from which to promote new male and female talent in football. I believe that talent at all levels should be nurtured and that we should make concerted efforts to ensure players receive the recognition they deserve so that they may aspire to reach their goals. Mark and Dave have created a model which allows them to pass on a wealth of knowledge to youngsters wanting to be where they’ve been and that to me is an educational opportunity like no other!” (


For further information, please contact Kate Lilley on 07718772042

Source : Draper Norton Football Academy

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