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Our Purpose

The purpose of the North of England Football Academy (NEFA) is to provide the very best football education programme for players to give them the very best opportunity to improve, develop and stay in the game we all love, for as long as possible.

NEFA was founded in 2016 by LifeSkills owner, Spencer Fearn, and football industry professional, Ryan McKnight. Both have a vast amount of experience in club ownership, coaching, playing and management in professional and semi – professional football.

NEFA is the sister company of one of the UK’s leading private learning providers, LifeSkills, who have educated over 18,000 students since its formation in 2002.

Nefa players


Depending on your age and location the NEFA offering is split into three routes:

1. 16-18 year olds (EU, EEA and UK students only)

The 16-18 pathway is for younger students and involves an excellent football-based programme as well as achieving vocational qualifications in Sport, Motor Vehicle or Construction supplemented by Maths, English and personal and social development qualifications and a bespoke games programme against other private football academies, semi-professional and professional sides.

Further details can be seen here.

2. Higher Education (UK/EU/EEA)
3. Higher Education (International – Non UK/EU/EEA)

Options two and three run simultaneously and provide the following:

– Full time elite football development and games programme
– BSc or BA Undergraduate degree programme via the Open University or Sheffield Hallam University

Bolt on Football Education including:

1. The Cryuff Institute
2. FA Coaching Badges
3. FA talent I.D. Courses
4. ASA Football Agent Course

Detailed information on the education elements to your NEFA experience can be found here.

Team Experience

The team at NEFA are a highly qualified, experienced and skilled coaching team with a large amount of contacts to help students secure a future in the game. You can find more about who we are here.

This enables NEFA to deliver an absolute unique football and education offering that is second to none for domestic and international students.
Since NEFA was formed several of the students have gone on to play semi-professional football, university and work in the sports industry as well as 91% achieving their core education qualification.
We also LOVE where we are based. South Yorkshire is one of the very best regions in the UK with a thriving sport and cultural scene. We believe there is no better place to come and develop yourself.
The NEFA team creates a totally professional and dynamic environment to develop your game, your education and who you are.

For costs please here

To express interest please click here