Nailers announce Blades link-up

Belper Town have announced a link-up with League One side Sheffield United which could see young Blades players come to Christchurch Meadow on loan.

The Nailers are one of five clubs to have been chosen by United for the initiative, with Stocksbridge Park Steels, Hallam FC, Buxton and AFC Emley also set to benefit.

The initiative has been put in place by the Blades’ academy manager, Nick Cox, who outlined aspects of what the partnerships with the non-league clubs will entail and how it could benefit his club.

He said: “Pre-season friendly matches have been arranged these against five well regarded non-league outfits but it is more than just a game of football, as moving forward we hope to have a productive and informal working relationship with all of these clubs.

“Sheffield United is committed to giving the local football community something back and we are focused on developing genuine home grown talent within the local footprint.

“Part of the aim of these new partnerships is to give the Blades an opportunity to use the facilities of these local clubs, in addition to having the option to loan players to give them a taste of first-team football.

“There is no end of way that clubs can support each other with regards to sharing knowledge and resources, it will be exciting to see how the relationships develop in the future.”

Coaches from both clubs will work together, with those from Belper invited to the United academy to observe their practices and programmes.

Cox added: “This is hopefully just a start of us building good relationship with local club both at senior and junior level.

“We are confident this relationship can be of great value to all parties and of real benefit to everyone.”

The friendly match against the Nailers will take place on Tuesday, August 6, kick-off 7.30pm

Meanwhile, striker Daryll Thomas has signed for Matlock Town after a disappointing spell with Belper Town.

Thomas joined the Nailers in September from another Derbyshire rival, Ilkeston FC, after his goals helped the Robins get promoted to the Evo-Stik Premier Division and also knock Belper out of the FA Cup.

But injuries and a struggle to regain his form combined to mean Thomas struggled to hold down a place in Peter Duffield’s side during the second half of the season and he has now made the move up the A6 and back into the Premier Division.