Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (ASE)

Mission To Strengthen our position as an outstanding provider of work based learning by placing our apprentices at the centre of everything we do.

LFE was established by The English Football League (EFL) and The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) in 2004 to deliver the ASE programme to all of the English Football League Clubs in England and Wales.

Our trustees are made up of two directors from The EFL and two from The PFA.

LFE is a registered charity (No. 1104917) and receives funds from the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver the Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (ASE) over a two-year period. The programme is part funded by the European Social Fund.

A conceptual diagram is outlined below:

ASE Framework

ASE diagram

From the model you can see that the ASE is a continuous cycle of integrated work based experience (the Football Development Programme), work based learning (the NVQ) and academic education (the Technical Certificate), each providing information to the others.

Further information about each element of the ASE framework can be viewed in the ‘Apprentice Journey’ section of the website.

Information about LFE

We receive many queries from Connexions centres and individuals interested to know how to become involved with the Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (ASE) Programme.

Unfortunately, LFE is only responsible for the management and administration of this programme and as such has no active involvement with Club recruitment.

If you wish to pursue a career within Professional Football you should write to the Youth Team Coach or Reserve Team Manager at the Club you are interested in playing for stating at which level you are currently playing (i.e. Town, County, Schoolboy, local league etc). You may also wish to include a list of fixtures with your letter providing details of upcoming games in which you will be playing.

However, you should bear in mind that it is generally more common for Clubs to contact youngsters that they wish to take on trial or sign than the other way round as all Clubs operate sophisticated scouting systems.

If you are already playing for a professional Football Club and are between 14 and 16 years of age, you may be offered the chance of a two-year Apprenticeship once you reach the statutory school leaving age applicable in England (i.e. 16).

If you are aged 18 or over you will not be eligible to take part in an Apprenticeship programme at a Professional Club and you should direct any requests for trials to the Club’s Reserve Team Manager.

If you have any further queries please contact us at