STANWAY Rovers director of football Andy Partner says linking up with Norwich City's Regional Development Programme (RDP) is a 'fantastic opportunity' for the Hawthorns club.

The Thurlow Nunn League premier division side have linked up with the partner club programme, becoming the Canaries' third partner club with the RDP.

Stanway will receive a full package of support and opportunities alongside the Norwich RDP's other regional partners, Histon FC (Cambridgeshire), and Ware FC (Hertfordshire), as their flagship partner club for Essex.

This includes fixtures, CPD events and support of the Eastern Junior Alliance (EJA) U13-U16 squads whilst developing and creating a professional learning environment for the players and management at Stanway Rovers to be part of.

Partner said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for Stanway Rovers Football Club, it’s great to be working alongside a club of Norwich City’s stature to help develop our EJA teams, coaches and young players.

"I was really impressed with how Alex Kaufman presented himself and Norwich City, it was pleasing how in touch they were with our ambitions and philosophy.

"Over several meetings with myself and others it’s clear we can progress this to a good level of success from which both clubs can benefit.

"We will soon be launching our Stanway Rovers academy teams from U13s to U18s for the 2021-22 season which will offer an elite pathway into our senior football teams.

"We’ve said all along we have a fantastic catchment of parents and young players and with Norwich City’s wealth of knowledge and experience as a Category 1 Academy being able to draw on that to support our teams and infrastructure will be fantastic.

"I would like to thank Alex and his team on behalf of everyone at Stanway Rovers, it will be great to see them all out on the grass in the very near future!"

Stanway have become the Norwich RDP's third partner club programme and will be involved with a whole host of events with fellow partners Histon FC and Ware FC.

The Norwich City FC RDP now has a partner club in Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire.

RDP managing director Alex Kaufman said: "We are extremely excited to be launching our partner club programme with Stanway Rovers FC, securing our third partner club, and it being one of our first projects in the Essex region.

"When we met with Andy and the committee members at the club, the conversations were extremely positive and the messages were clear and matched by both parties intentions around supporting the area in Stanway itself, and the opportunities to develop throughout Colchester to support local football.

"They have some exciting plans for their youth teams and the partners they already work alongside, and we felt it was a great fit in terms of the two organisations growing something new together.

"We have already launched community activity projects in Essex and we are looking to establish further opportunities for children and young people throughout the region."