Sheffield United: Academy gets new backer

Nick Cox, director of Sheffield United's pioneering academy programme � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Nick Cox, director of Sheffield United's pioneering academy programme � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
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Sheffield United’s academy, which has produced players such as Kyle Walker, Phil Jagielka and Stephen Quinn in recent seasons, unveiled its new sponsor last night, writes James Shield.

SteelPhalt, part of the US-based Hasco group, acquired naming rights to the League One club’s renowned youth system as part of a three year agreement with Nigel Adkins’ side.

“The sponsorship is fantastic news for the academy,” Nick Cox, United’s academy director, said. “We’re always looking to try and develop our programme, make sure our programme is innovative and exciting, and you can’t do that without the support of an organisation that is going to give you not only financial support, but help and advice from the experience they have.”

United, FA Youth Cup finalists in 2011, were recently cited by the Premier League as one of the country’s best producers of home-grown talent. Steelphalt, who are based in Rotherham, manufacturers high-performance products for the roadmaking industry.

Dean Raynor, Steelphalt’s commerial manager, said: “The academy has a great reputation and is a natural fit for SteelPhalt where we pride ourselves on producing first class products matched by a commitment to innovation and sustainability.

“Sheffield United and SteelPhalt share the same views on social responsibility and community development projects which ensured that the Blades would be a great investment to compliment how we work in the community.”

Twitter: @JamesShield1

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