The Pics


12 June 2018

THE PICS are delighted to announced that we have joined the NPL Football Academy - the Youth Academy programme of the Evo-Stik League.

An Education and Football Academy side for 16-18 year olds will be created here at Rushall Olympic and play in the NPL Football Academy League with opportunities to play in the FA Youth Cup from September 2019.

The programme started with a pilot season in 2014/15 with five clubs and since then has expanded to 12 (with 18 teams) and we are delighted to have been chosen as one of the new clubs for the 2019/20 season.

We are now on the look-out for talented and committed young footballers who are eager to take their first steps to a career in the semi-professional game and more importantly study to earn educational qualifications.

The Rushall Olympic Academy is a full-time course which is an alternative to college where students will study for a BTEC in Sport at Level 2 or Level 3 (Diploma and Extended Diploma available which is the equivalent to two/three A Levels), which will be delivered by a tutor in the mornings before a UEFA-qualified football coach will train the students in the afternoons as well as manage the side on Wednesday afternoons against fellow NPLFA sides such as Leek Town, Matlock Town and Witton Albion.

All games will take place at the main grounds of all the Evo-Stik League clubs involved and filmed for analysis with the weekly highlights show that is published every Friday (

The NPL Football Academy has been a huge success on and off the pitch with over 600 students enrolling and many of those progressing onto university, scholarships in the US, the NPLFA’s own sports degree course or employment and as of May 2018 over 47 have progressed to their respective first teams with two students progressing to the professional game (

By being a part of Rushall Olympic, there are genuine pathways to play for the first-team and with the football programme being held between Monday and Friday, students will still be able to play for their local junior sides at the weekend.

Vice Chairman, Nick Allen, is delighted with the news

“We have tried to set up this programme before on a number of occasions with various companies and for clubs at this level it is very difficult with time, staff resources, cost and expertise," he said. "I feel confident this time by joining the NPLFA and their management structure that at least we will have the correct support to be able to try and set up a new programme which we desire.

"Whilst still in its infancy the NPLFA is growing; one of the attractions is it is part of the senior league structure and secure financially, the other is they incur all the costs to see if they can kick start a programme for us.

"As the league grows it seems inevitable more financial opportunities will occur for clubs as part of a wider national programme. We look forward to working with the NPLFA to try and establish in 2019 an educational programme at Rushall.”

Recruitment will begin in September 2018 for a September 2019 start but interested Year 10 students can pre-register at or you can email

There is a maximum of 20 places available for the Rushall Olympic Academy with trials to be arranged in October 2018, December 2018, February 2019, April 2019 and May 2019.

For more information on the NPLFA, please visit the following sites: