Student stars flying out to China!

By David Watters

Matlock Town's next generation of stars are heading to China to represent Great Britain and the EVO-STIK League at an international tournament!

Subject to final confirmation this week before an official announcement on Friday, students from Matlock Town's two successful Northern Premier League Football Academy sides are set to fly out to the far east in July to kick off at the 2018 Shanghai Youth International Tournament.

Although the UK Boarding Schools Admissions Service (UKBS) have agreed to cover the cost of their flights, excited officials at the DCJ Group Insurance Arena are now looking for sponsors to cover any additional costs including the provision of a nurse to travel with the squad.

A Gladiators spokesman said: "We have been officially invited by the Shanghai (China) Youth International Tournament Organising Committee based on our development achievements in the last two years, both domestically and internationally, who will sponsor all costs while our squad is in the city of Shanghai.

"While we have a provisional agreement with UKBS who are based in Shanghai to be our main sponsors for the tournament, we are looking for sponsorship to cover the costs of a nurse to travel with the squad and new kit and equipment as well as additional costs within the UK to support our young gladiators on tour in China."

The Gladiators are now selling 'gold', 'silver' and 'bronze' sponorship package priced at £500, £300 and £100 respectively and a spokesman added: "Your support is very much appreciated and we are looking for local companies and individuals to support this amazing event for our young gladiators. Your support is crucial so please email"

Matlock Town Whites won the Chyrso Division Championship in April before losing to Warrington Town in the NPLFA's Grand Final.

The NPLFA was founded with the backing of the Football Association at five pilot clubs in September 2014 to provide career pathways into the football industry with youngsters studying on two year BTEC courses.

Still the only league-wide academy in English football combining sport with education and now expanded to 12 members clubs, the NPLFA welcomed its fourth intake of students this season while launching a new higher education partnership with Loughborough University so students could continue their studies to degree level within the Northern Premier League.

For further details and information on the football education programme, visit or contact them at

Image courtesy of @Matlock_TownFC/Twitter

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