The League has been hugely successful and has produced many professional players since its introduction. It has encouraged thousands of young players to continue their education and go on to great things. Choices International and WHUF International academy of football programme participate this season in the U23 Southern premier division of the league.
Every season the best players from the league are invited to participate in the League’s All-Star Trial to form a national squad within the league. This national squad will then play showcase matches with league and non-league clubs with the aim of signing the best players to professional clubs. From this squad, the league will form a final National Team to compete and be seen at the highest level. In the previous editions, players were signed by Burnley FC, Reading FC, Walsall FC, Watford FC, Newcastle United, Fulham FC, West Ham United U23, Northampton Town FC, AFC Wimbledon, Barnsley FC and many more.
In 2020, the national team was invited to Qatar by the Qatar FA for a tournament offering the opportunity for these selected players to showcase their talent on the international stage.
This season, the first since the pandemic, saw three West Ham United Foundation players from the Choices International programme travelling to Moulton, Northampton for the 2022/2023 All-Star trial: Michael Dare (19 – Nigeria – Left Wing/Attacking Midfielder), Omolayo Adebanjo (19 – Ireland – Right Back) and Bradley Pearson (22- South Africa – Centre Back). Each showed their worth and played to an extremely high level in the trial games. Over 35 players competed for a place in the All-Star squad and we are very pleased to announce that Michael Dare was selected. He will now get the opportunity to play showcase matches in front of League and non-league clubs and hopefully be selected for the U23 League’s National Team.
Choices International would like to congratulate Michael and the other trialists on such great performances and we will be following very closely Michael’s progression within our programme at West Ham United Foundation International Academy and the All star programme with the NFYL.
Week after week our U23 team continue to compete in the NFYL against some of the strongest non-academy sides in the country giving our players the opportunity to play highly competitive football and get valuable insight into men’s football. The vast majority of our squad are between the ages of 17 and 19, so in many cases playing well above their age group and giving them all valuable experience to progress into professional football. At Choices International our aim is to provide players with an elite training environment which tests them and pushes them, helping players to progress to the next level.
The league’s entry criteria for clubs are very strict in order to keep standards extremely high for the players – highly qualified, experienced coaching staff, all clubs must be professional clubs, and offer high-quality venues. These are just three criteria that must be met by each team which participates in the league so every game is played to the highest level.