Released National Youth League (NYL) players will be given the chance to stay in the game and gain a top education as Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) announces NSR Australia partnership

Specialists in assisting young Australians to make the jump to college in the United States the partnership with NSR will enable NYL players who are released by their clubs access to NSR’s services as part of their PFA membership.

In line with the PFA’s purpose of developing players both as footballers and as people, NSR will provide players who are no longer part of the elite development pathway in Australia to continue their football development whilst at the same time securing academic qualifications.

PFA Vice President Ante Covic said the joint initiative with NSR was an important step in ensuring the continued development of young players unable to make the jump from the NYL to the A-League.

“With only nine professional clubs in Australia it’s extremely difficult for young players to progress from the National Youth League to the first team,” Covic said. “This allows players who are no longer part of the elite development pathway to continue playing at a high level and gain an education. It also doesn’t close the door on eventually returning to Australia to play in A-League as we have seen with the likes of Shannon Cole, Tim Brown and Michael Boxhall.”

Having spent time in the US college system Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Shannon Cole welcomed the announcement.

“My time at college in the US was something I thoroughly enjoyed,” Cole said. “I wasn’t part of the development pathway here when I went to the States so it gave me the chance to play at a good level and experience life at college.”

NSR ambassador and Matildas star Kyah Simon said they were delighted by the opportunity to assist young Australian players who are transitioning from the NYL.

“We are pleased to be able to assist NYL players who have been released by their clubs with the opportunity to carry on playing whilst also gaining an education,” Simon said. “We are committed to ensuring that the PFA members who use NSR’s services are placed in the best possible environments where they can continue to grow on and off the pitch.”