SILSDEN have joined forces with Leeds United Sports College as part of the Elite Player Development Scholarship which is open to 16 to 18-year-olds.

Students interested in taking on the course will study a Level 3 BTEC in Sport which will cover the core elements of performance and excellence and will be delivered by specialist tutors from Elland Road.

The course will particularly suit those who are wanting to enter employment in the sports industry either as a sports coach, physio, sports scientist, or for those wishing to progress to higher education to study a sport-related degree such as a coaching, sports therapy or sports science.

The coaching and games programme as part of the course will be managed by Silsden with opportunities for player pathways into semi-professional football or international scholarships.

Danny Forrest, Silsden manager, said: “To go into partnership with such a prestigious club on such a positive project shows how serious we are about developing young players and giving them pathways and opportunities to experience the professional football world and also create pathways directly into our semi-professional football club.

“We want to be a hotbed for talent in the local community and wider area, and this programme will help bridge the gap from grassroots to semi-professional football.

“The course will give students a taste of sport in many different forms and also provide a platform and pathways for young people to then go and have a career in sport.

"The course will also help young people develop all types of skills and attributes which could eventually benefit the whole club and community in a variety of different ways.

“We are a growing and ambitious club with a high standard of facilities and this programme will see them used to their potential which is fantastic.

"We want to create an environment where young people will thrive and if we can support them on their journey in to sport while also developing some players for the first team that would be fantastic.”

Brian Blackwell, who will head up the football side, said: “Myself and Danny have shared a vision for Silsden and youth development in the area.

“We want to provide an outstanding Football and Education Programme and partnering with Leeds United will do just this.

“Our aim is to create pathways in to professional and semi-professional football at Silsden focusing on individual player development. The coaching will be lead by First Team UEFA licensed staff.

"This is an amazing opportunity for young people in Silsden and the local area and we are proud to offer such a high quality programme.”

Silsden will host an open evening at The Cobbydale Construction Stadium on Wednesday, May 15 from 6pm. The event will enable parents and students to learn more about the scholarship and they will have the opportunity to ask any questions about the full two-year programme.