Change of emphasis for Reds’ successful community scheme

Alfreton Town Football Club has announced a change of emphasis for its highly-rated Community Scheme, which is now tying up with Reds’ first teamer John McGrath and his Academy-Links Ltd company.

The ATFC community scheme began in February 2012, and has so far concentrated on providing apprenticeships for local unemployed youngsters and supporting local schools with enhanced PE and coaching sessions.

Having seen seven youngsters so far achieve their Level Two qualifications, the scheme is now switching focus onto another area of concern, that of secondary careers for former or part-time players.

Instead of using apprentices to help deliver the scheme’s programmes, former or part-time players will be used. These players already possess some of their coaching qualifications and it is hoped their involvement will enhance their coaching experience, help them build a second career and provide local schools/teams with access to levels of coaching not normally available.

Under Academy-Links, the scheme will deliver a wide and varied programme and be an influential partner within the local school community, other groups/businesses and the local authority.

Initially, the scheme will engage with local schools to develop programmes to inspire and encourage children through various activity sessions which will lead to improvements in fitness, concentration levels and general health.

Other future programmes will include after-school clubs, holiday coaching and hopefully even football tournaments.

McGrath has considerable experience in the English game, having played for Aston Villa, Doncaster Rovers, Kidderminster and latterly as part of the successful Burton Albion set-up.

He is also assisting at the Doncaster Rovers Academy and established his Academy-Links company to provide him with employment in the game when he can no longer play.

McGrath explained: “I truly believe this partnership can be a huge success for the Alfreton Town FC Community Development Scheme, and Academy-Links Ltd, but, more importantly for the local community.”

Details for future programmes will be announced on the club’s official website when available. Alfreton’s Community Scheme continues to be supported by The Football Conference Trust who are granted funds by The Premier League and The Professional Footballers Association, and without this assistance the scheme would not be able to operate.

The community scheme is therefore grateful to the Trust for their involvement and the club are hoping that this new initiative will provide not only benefits to the local community but assist players at this level to develop second careers.

n This Saturday, the Reds return to action with a game in the league at Welling (3pm kick off).