DUAL SIGNING OPPORTUNITY FOR SHADOW ACADEMY SCHOLARS

Published: 15/11/2022

Alfie Bakes and Thomas Luty sign for Penistone Church FC. Talented Rotherham United Shadow Scholarship players Alfie Bakes and Thomas Luty have dual signed with Northern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Penistone Church. The Rotherham United FC Shadow Academy aims to give talented young players between the ages of 16 and 18 the… Continue reading DUAL SIGNING OPPORTUNITY FOR SHADOW ACADEMY SCHOLARS

Alfie Bakes and Thomas Luty sign for Penistone Church FC.

Talented Rotherham United Shadow Scholarship players Alfie Bakes and Thomas Luty have dual signed with Northern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Penistone Church.

The Rotherham United FC Shadow Academy aims to give talented young players between the ages of 16 and 18 the chance to combine academic studies with practical football experience. It is designed to bridge the gap between grassroots and academy football with Scholars benefiting from an extensive football development curriculum delivered by highly qualified and experienced coaches alongside specialist staff.

The programme has proven to be successful following the route taken by two of the current players at the Rotherham United Shadow Academy with Football Development Officer and former Miller Jamie Yates stating:

“A huge congratulations to Alfie and Tom who have signed for Penistone Church who have both shown their capabilities in recent months which has resulted in a fantastic opportunity to be involved at step five of the non-league pyramid. We would like to extend our thanks to Penistone Church and Assistant Manager John Whitehead, whilst wishing both lads every success as they continue to show the possible pathway from our programme into senior football.”

John Whitehead, Penistone Church Assistant Manager and Sports Tutor at Rotherham United Sports College, commented:

“As a club we are always looking to develop on and off the field. We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to dual sign two talented youngsters who have continued to develop their abilities within the Shadow Scholarship programme at Rotherham United and at their current club Sheffield FC Development. We are looking at entering a new era at Penistone and it is important that we have the right blend of talented and hungry young players as well as the experience that we currently possess at the club, and we believe that Alfie and Tom will bring enthusiasm and energy along with a great attitude to the current group. We very much see them continuing to develop and eventually taking the opportunity to be a part of Penistone Church Football Club going forward as both players have excellent attitudes are extremely reliable and have great work ethic. There is no pressure on either party. The opportunity allows the lads to experience senior football at an extremely competitive level whilst allowing us to keep an eye on two prospects that could have a successful non-league football career in the local area.”

Alfie Bakes is currently the captain of Rotherham United Shadow Scholarship squad playing an integral role in Jamie Yates side in centre midfield where his work rate and leadership qualities shine through alongside his ability to find his teammates with a wide range of passing abilities. Alfie has played for Kiverton, both Chesterfield and Sheffield United Development teams as well as Handsworth, Sheffield Club Development and Dinnington.

Thomas Luty is a central striker that leads the line for the Shadow Squad with his industrious hold up play and finishing capabilities. Tom has played for Rawmarsh, Millmoor Juniors, AFC Wakefield and Sheffield Club Development.

James Mahoney, Education Manager, commented: “It’s fantastic that two more of our students have the opportunity to play semi-professional football alongside studying and playing at Rotherham United Sports College . We are delighted for Alfie and Tom who fully deserve their chance to test themselves at Step 5 playing for a very well respected club in Penistone Church FC. Our football programme continues to go from strength to strength and this is just another example of the various pathways available for our students”.

The Shadow Academy compete in the National Football Youth League which consists of teams represented by EFL and Premier League Clubs. In addition to the football programme, the scholars will have the option to study a range of education courses at the Trust, gaining either a BTEC qualification (equivalent to 3 A-Levels) or a Foundation Degree in Football Coaching & Development. The courses are designed to provide the students with the knowledge and skills to pursue a career working in the sports industry.

If you are interested in further details regarding the Shadow Academy and the Education programme delivered by Rotherham United Sports College then please click here.