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More success for United's Futures programme

10 March 2016

The United Futures programme has aided the development of another young player, who has now signed a scholarship with the Blades.

Nathaniel Crofts, a 17-year-old attacking player, who hails a stone's throw away from the SteelPhalt Academy at Shirecliffe will now begin training full-time with United's youth team and has already impressed in action for the U18s, scoring in last month's victory over Birmingham City.

The programme is delivered by United's Academy and The Sheffield College. It is aimed at 16 to 18-year-olds who have previous experience of playing to an elite level and who want to develop a career as a footballer, as well as those who want the business knowhow to break into the football, sport and leisure industries.

Applicants have to attend some practical trials and pass a formal interview before being offered a course place. If you are aged 16-18 and would like more information or to express an interest please contact Lee Dunn at The Sheffield College via email at

Students will study for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, Performance and Excellence at Level 3 - equivalent to three A Levels.
They will also spend part of their week training with the Academy at Shirecliffe, gaining an insight into the workings of a professional Football Club, shadowing senior staff and having access to Academy training and first-team matches.

In addition to offering a recognised qualification and an intensive training and development programme, that mirrors the experience of a SUFC youth team player, the programme provides the chance to achieve FA National Governing Body qualifications.

Lee Dunn, of The Sheffield College, remarked: "It's another positive step forward for our programme and not only excellent news for Nat but it really does show that the hardwork and endeavour of the Futures coaching staff is paying off.

"This is ultimately what the programme was set up for and it yet more proof that it is working."

United's Academy Manager Nick Cox added: "It is great to have a programme like this within the academy structure and working in tandem with our youth team enables the opportunities for futures player to impress and develop.

"Nat has and that's the reason he has been signed on a scholarship"​​

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