NEFA Player Update – Brad Mears .

NEFA graduate wins non-league contract
17th October 2019

Since making his first team debut for Frickley Athletic Brad Mears in October 2018 and accumulating 12 first team appearances he recently signed a 2 year contract with the club. Mears is a product of the North of England Football Academy where he has spent the last two years developing his game in a full-time setting whilst completing his education. Mears described his experience with NEFA as "fantastic" and that it has been "plenty of fun and surrounded by the best people and a coach that has developed me beyond what I thought was possible". "Whilst being at NEFA the main and most important thing I learnt was how to play out from the back and by understanding that by keeping the ball it tires the opposition which creates gaps to get in the final 3rd and makes chances." Brad is hoping to continue his development in the future and continue to make regular first team appearances. His main goal is "being able to develop into a better player and having a better understanding of the game".

Mears stated that since he's been with the first team the things he has learnt are "knowing when to play quickly with one or two touches and when to choose to play with more. Also plenty of pre match preparation and watching other teams’ play which makes us aware of what to expect and how to be positioned" Brad is one of 15 young players to have made their Frickley Athletic debuts in the last eighteen months.

You could be next. If you're 16-18 and want to develop in a full-time football setting contact or 07743061264 or visit

north OF ENGLAND Football academy secure frickley athletic investment


MAY 2017

FRICKLEY ATHLETIC have confirmed Spencer Fearn as their new manager while also securing investment from the North of England Football Academy (NEFA).

Fearn, who has worked for East Stirling and Stockport County off the field, has spent the last two years managing Maltby Main, turning the Northern Counties East League strugglers’ fortunes around.

The new boss joins Frickley alongside Ryan McKnight, the chief executive of North of England Football Academy with both men taking a place on the Athletic board.

McKnight, formerly chief executive at Stockport County, has agreed to help Frickley with “investment and additional assistance” as they look to bounce back from relegation.

McKnight told the club’s website: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with the excellent volunteers and directors at Frickley to help improve the club’s fortunes. The funds we are investing will see stability for the club in the short-term.

“However, to turn that into a long-term success we will need the support of the local community, local businesses and of course supporters, old and new.”

Outgoing chairman Gareth Dando added: “We’d like to welcome Spencer, Ryan and their team to the club and wish them every success in the future.”