7 Elite Academy has joined forces with AFC Liverpool to develop new opportunities for young people on Merseyside to play semi-professional football.
The collaboration will see 7 Elite Academy assume responsibility for the running and coaching of AFC Liverpool's Under-18 youth side from the start of the new season.
7 Elite Academy runs teams for hundreds of young people across the world, including the United Kingdom, United States and Tanzania, East Africa, alongside a major international tournament in Utah and Nevada.
AFC Liverpool was formed in 2008 by football fans in the city who were disillusioned by high prices charged by top-flight clubs. The senior side currently plays in the North-West Counties League.
Both organisations will work together to make sure players who reach 16 have the chance to remain in the game in a variety of roles, both at grassroots level and higher up the football pyramid.
Wayne Scholes, Chairman of 7 Elite Academy, said: "I have closely followed the progress of AFC Liverpool since the club was formed and have always been impressed by their commitment to affordable football for all.
"In today's highly pressurized, and politicized football industry, it is essential that like-minded organisations, such as 7 Elite Academy and AFC Liverpool work together and create genuine opportunities for players to develop and thrive for people who just love football.
“I am delighted that we are helping each other to make sure that any young person who wants to have a career in football, be that as a player, coach or other staff member, can reach the heights of their potential."
Chris Stirrup, Chairman of AFC Liverpool, is looking forward to working with 7 Elite Academy on a variety of youth football projects.
He said: “As a club, AFC Liverpool has always sought to give young people opportunities to enjoy football, which is why we are excited about our new partnership with 7 Elite Academy.
“Our staff are incredibly passionate about the game at all levels and this is something reflected in the excellent work 7 Elite Academy does across the world. Their professional approach will give players a grounding in a career in football.
“By having 7 Elite Academy staff help to run our Under-18 youth team we are opening up so many opportunities for players to gain crucial life skills, alongside football ability.”
Anthony Godfrey, Global Technical Director at 7 Elite Academy, added: “I have known Chris and his team at AFC Liverpool for a long time and nobody has more passion for grassroots football than they do.
“We are honoured that AFC Liverpool have allowed us to run their Under-18 youth team and help to create a genuine and sustainable pathway of talent for players on Merseyside.
“Our players at 7 Elite Academy receive professional training along with home technical programmes to ensure youngsters are given an academy experience at grassroots level. They also benefit from regular visits by top-flight players and coaches.
“The staff at 7 Elite Academy and AFC Liverpool operate together on a regular basis, so this is a natural extension of the fantastic work that is already being done for players in Merseyside.
“When they reach 16 they will now have the opportunity to not only stay within the game at a competitive level, but also look towards semi-professional prospects with AFC Liverpool and beyond. It is very exciting for us all.”
Chris Anderson, AFC Liverpool First Team, Manager, said: “I’m delighted we now have a partnership with 7 Elite. Hopefully we can now provide a platform for talented young players to develop into semi-professional and maybe even professional football.
“Having worked with Anthony on other projects, I know the players will be ready to step up when the opportunities present themselves.”