Velocity Football back Niko Nemonen-Millar’s inaugural international campaign

Velocity Football has thrown its support behind student Niko Nemonen-Millar ahead of his Centenary Shield campaign with England Schoolboys’ U18s, which starts on Friday.  

The 17-year-old Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport student has impressed with U18s throughout a rigorous three-month trial process which included friendlies against RAF U23s, Crystal Palace Academy and Notts County Academy.

After being selected to represent Schoolboys’ U18s in this week’s opening Centenary Shield game against Northern Ireland in Belfast, Velocity Football has moved to sponsor Niko in support of his inaugural international campaign.

Director Justin Merritt explained the defender’s personal development epitomises what the educational academy aspires to achieve.

“Niko has taken his playing ability to new levels by studying the Velocity programme and we are pleased to support his growth and this exciting opportunity with England Schoolboys,” said Justin.

“His progress on the pitch is mirrored by his work in the classroom and personal development which is exactly what our educational academy aims to achieve. By combining full-time training with quality education, Velocity supports students in developing key life skills required to fulfil a successful career either in sport or as a professional player.

“We’re very proud of Niko’s achievements this year and would like to wish him every success with England Schoolboys.”

England Schoolboys’ Centenary Shield campaign begins at Harland and Wolff Welders FC on Friday against Northern Ireland before fixtures at home to Scotland and the Republic of Ireland follow on Friday, April 1, and Friday, April 8, respectively. Home fixtures are held at National League club Eastleigh FC.

The squad’s campaign ends on Friday, April 15, away to Wales at Llansawel FC near Swansea.

The English Schools’ Football Association introduced its Player Sponsorship scheme with a view to encouraging players to seek financial support for their footballing endeavors, a useful skill to add to their CV. 

Mark Hignett, ESFA Chairman, said: “Introducing ideas such as securing sponsorship for our young players to embark on will bring real value to their educational experiences of the international programme, which compliments the footballing experience they also enjoy.

“On behalf of the ESFA and especially the young people who have secured sponsorship, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Velocity Football for their support and contribution.”

The ESFA has been the National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England since 1904. It operates to reward individuals who remain in education as opposed to joining professional teams’ academy systems.

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