THE UNIVERSITY of Bradford will be the new shirt sponsor of Bradford (Park Avenue) from next season after agreeing a two-year deal.

The partnership will see the two organisations link closely in a number of areas. Training and playing facilities will be shared, and intern and learning programmes will see physiotherapy, sport performance, analytics and media students gain valuable experience with the club.

The university’s football association members will be welcomed to Bradford (Park Avenue) with ticket initiatives, while also accessing coaching and first team pathways for their British Universities League squad.

Park Avenue chief executive Damian Irvine said: “This is a significant step forward for our football club in many ways.

"The University of Bradford is doing tremendous work for our city both locally and internationally. With this partnership we can encourage and provide aspiration and ambition for our local youth, who may not otherwise have considered a relationship with a university as being remotely obtainable.

“We will work together on the training pitch with mutual benefit, and off the pitch we want to provide students who choose Bradford as their home during their education with a football club they can be a huge part of during their studies and hopefully for life."

Avenue’s academy students will be a focus of the partnership. Horsfall College students will benefit from training facilities at the university’s campus, along with mentoring and academic pathway assistance.

Both organisations are committed to working together to encourage a higher number of south Bradford 16-year-olds into further education through Horsfall College and on to the university.

Mark Garratt, director of external affairs at the University of Bradford, said: “We are pleased to be sponsoring Bradford (Park Avenue) and are committed to working together to create fantastic opportunities for both our staff and students.

"It is also our hope that through activities like this, we can make a real difference and see increased opportunities for young people in the region.”