Barnsley Football Club is delighted to announce that, following an independent audit, that our Academy has been awarded ‘Category Two’ status under the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan), implemented by the Premier League.
Now officially recognised as ‘Category Two’, the Academy can use this as a springboard for further success in producing home-grown talent to eventually break into the first team at Oakwell.
Academies up and down the country are in the process of being evaluated and subsequently categorised from one to four, with each youth development programme being assessed on different areas such as; player progression and development, coaching, leadership and management, games programme, recruitment, sports science and medicine.
Reds Academy Manager Ronnie Branson said, “Achieving category two status has been a long and rigorous process. We’re very proud and happy with achieving this status. All the staff have worked really hard and put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into us helping achieve this goal. Category two status also ensures Academy funding for the next three years which will enable us to develop and nurture more home-grown talent.
“Most Premier League clubs have applied for category one status – which is aimed at the elite clubs. To achieve category one, a significant amount of more staff and facilities are required, which may be something Barnsley Football Club look to consider in the future. At the present, we are exactly where we need to be considering the glowing audit report which saw some very high scores across the board. The four-day inspection process and the lead up to it was a daunting time for all connected with the Academy, but we came through with flying colours which was testament to everyone concerned.”
Barnsley Football Club has reaped the rewards of the hard work of the Academy in recent years, with the likes of Reuben Noble-Lazarus, Danny Rose, Paul Digby, Jordan Clark who have all turned professional, not to mention the revenue raised from the recent sales of Jacob Butterfield and John Stones.
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Ronnie added, “The Board of Directors have been fully supportive in the EPPP audit process, as they were of our Academy system prior to its implementation. The success of our Academy in producing first-team players will only grow from strength to strength with this new categorisation.”