The Notts County Academy have been awarded more 55,500 Euros after applying for funding from the Leonardo da Vinci programme and will be travelling abroad to Europe as part of a cultural exchange in the summer of 2014.
The funding, which is available for all clubs and youth programmes, will be used to help the team and staff travel abroad for pre-season ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.
Each year three clubs are selected from the Football League, by the League Football Education (LFE).
The Academy has taken huge strides since its reintroduction four years ago and can boast a number of achievements that helped secure this funding including:
100 per cent pass rate of all the scholars completing their ASE education programme
16 players coming through to feature for the First Team
Seven professional contracts
Two LFE scholar of the month awards presented to Fabian Spiess (April 2012) and Haydn Hollis (November 2010)
Academy Manager Mick Leonard told the club’s official website: “I am hugely pleased about this news. It took me by surprise.I had to re-read the sum a few times to get my head around it! It will only enhance the programme as we go forward. “After seeing other clubs successfully go through the process and looking at ourselves, I thought we were well deserving of that after our progress in the past three, four years.
“We deserve the reward after so much hard work to get the programme back on its feet since the dark days of administration, where the whole programme was closed.
“I put together an application which initially wasn’t accepted, despite showcasing how far we have come in such a short space of time. I now believe we are up there as one of the best Academies at our level.
“We came very close to securing a deal, but we got there finally thanks to the help of the LFE after they saw how well we have developed over the years and we got the great news about the grant.
“LFE Project Manager Dan Jolley and Project Assistant Sarah Stonehouse in particular worked tirelessly to secure the funding and I’d like to thank them for their help.
“We now have something fantastic to look forward to and the lads who get to go on the trip will learn a lot about the culture of that country and also get to use excellent facilities.
“Other English clubs have travelled to places such as Holland in recent years and it will all help with their education and also improve them as players.”