Junior Premier League
The Junior Premier League is an opportunity for top quality under 16’s players to showcase their ability against other high-quality opposition. Our Pre-Academy side and the hope of that is that they get a taste of the Academy experience a year earlier. The JPL is the middle ground in between grassroots and elite level football and it is also a legitimate platform for players to develop and showcase themselves. Matchdays are played every Saturday and travel across the North going from the likes of Carlisle to Doncaster. Our JPL framework began in the 2020-21 season but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. We play high quality opposition such as private academies, junior semi-pro teams or foundations of professional clubs. Playing in the JPL does not affect you playing for your Sunday team.
Bradford City signed former Farsley U16 Rakealan Jeffers on a professional two-year U18s scholarship in the summer while another seven players from last season are now beginning their U19s scholarship and education programme with The Celts.
20/21 JPL Plate Champions, the U16s play their season in the Junior Premier League, a Nationally Affiliated Charter Standard League including Premier League Affiliated teams.
The South Kesteven Stadium, a 7,500 capacity arena and home of Grantham Town hosted the U16s’ penalty victory over Woking after the match resulted 2-2. A trip to Oldham Athletic in an earlier round resulted in a 4-2 victory for the U16s.
U16s Manager and Academy Assistant Manager Asher Bailey is an FA level 2 qualified coach preparing for his UEFA ‘B’ licence and also currently coaches for Leeds United Academy, formerly of Manchester City Elite Development Squad.
“We can have players understanding the system a year earlier so when they join the programme they fit in like a glove. The players that have been on the JPL, they’re game is a bit more advanced – they understand it more because it’s everything what we teach them just a year earlier. Seeing the boys do well, seeing Amari as well, seeing George, Shawnee who played the other day as well, it’s a good pathway for the boys,” – U16s manager Asher Bailey.