A newly established local football academy has received significant funding to continue bridging the gap between junior and senior football thanks to energy firm, Kinect Energy Group.

The one-season sponsorship has allowed Huddersfield YMCA Academy, based at New Hey Road, to invest in brand new playing and training kits so players look the part on match days. Kinect’s support also means the long-term goal to have a unified brand across the club is within reach.

Chairman Richard Spychalski appointed in 2016 highlighted the aim of the Academy as one which predominantly focuses on creating progression opportunities for players who exhibit talent in the Under-17’s and 18’s age groups. These individuals form the Under 19’s Academy team, playing a higher standard of league football and competing against semi-professional teams such as Silsden F.C and Bradford Park Avenue AFC, with a view to developing their skills for when they join the senior team.

Huddersfield YMCA Football Chairman, Richard Spychalski, said: “Having a huge sponsor like Kinect Energy Group is so important to our growth. To us, it’s more than just a kit, it’s a feeling of belonging and that’s important for all our academy players as they begin their transition.”

“There is a huge gap that exists between junior and senior football, and because of this, we could be losing talented and valuable players. Our academy provides that next step for junior players and limits the possibilities of talent being wasted. Three quarters of this year’s senior team have come through from the academy and without it, we wouldn’t have a team and one that is now performing very well in the senior league.”

Kinect Energy is a global energy management company with offices in Elland. It offers five solutions, Kinect Procure®, Supply Management, Portfolio and Price risk management, Energy Data Management and Consultancy to business and public sector customers across the UK and the world.

Amar Hussain, managing director at Kinect Energy Group, said: “Being able to support the local community, in particular grassroots sports and young talent, is really important to us as a business. We’re proud to be supporting the YMCA Academy and wish them all the best for the upcoming season.

“Whilst we’re part of a multi-national company with global capabilities, we still have roots in the community, and always keen to reach out to local businesses and organisations to help them manage their energy more efficiently.”