The Clarets’ Academy is doing everything it can to help youngsters prepare for life as full-time players within the youth set-up as they aim to launch a career in the game.
Teenagers starting a two-year scholarship at Turf Moor go full-time after leaving school at the age of 16.
And they are helped to make that step up by spending a full day each week – alongside their evening training sessions – at the Barnfield Training Centre to get used to the environment and improve their skills on and off the pitch.
As well as longer training and fitness sessions, the youngsters also receive education programmes to make they’re not missing out while being away from their schools.
And Jack Higgins, Head of Education at the Clarets’ Academy, believes the system – one of the most advanced of its type in the country – is hugely beneficial for youngsters hoping to make the grade at Turf Moor or looking for careers beyond their days at Burnley.
Higgins (above) said: “The purpose of the day-release programme is to support the transition from part-time training to the full-time elite environment.
“The programme has gone from strength to strength and we've worked hard to deliver what we hope is an effective programme.
“The players have really bought into what we are trying to achieve, which is ensuring we create rounded individuals who have the maturity to understand the importance of developing both academic and football skills to open up different options and pathways later on in life.
“As a multi-disciplinary team we provide a holistic approach towards each individual to ensure we develop character, resilience, technique and athleticism within a new social interaction area.
“Regularly liaising with schools, we place a strong emphasis on academic performance and ensure the boys take ownership of their own learning, understanding strengths and where to improve, while providing a fresh voice through three hours of formal education a week.
“The day-release programme gives the players a taste of the next step and they see first-hand what it takes to get to the next level, which is ultimately working towards becoming a full-time apprentice at Burnley Football Club.”