Forget scholarships and youth training schemes – in 2004 Apprenticeships came back to the fore in professional football.
LFE, established by The Football League and The Professional Footballers’ Association that same year was tasked with managing the Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme across Football League clubs.
Now almost ten years on, LFE, graded as ‘Outstanding’ across all areas of its provision by Ofsted last April, and the AASE programme continue to go from strength to strength.
Since 2006, when the first cohort of apprentices finished thousands have been through the programme and hundreds now regularly compete in the Football League or Premier League.
Here is a collection of players who have become familiar faces in the last nine years: