Norwich City chief executive David McNally yesterday pledged to press ahead with plans to develop the next generation of young Canaries after the club’s academy was officially granted category one status.

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City can now revolutionise their junior set-up after completing a successful audit to comply with the new ‘Elite Player Performance Plan’ (EPPP) proposals designed to overhaul youth football in this country.

The Canaries will form part of the elite vanguard of top domestic rivals who can compete for the best youngsters nationwide in a bid to produce City’s future stars.

“We are thrilled to have been granted category one status as this will allow us to be at the forefront of elite youth development in England and will provide us with a competitive advantage over many years,” said McNally. “Having been restricted more so than any other club in the country by the 90-minute travel time, we are really looking forward to recruiting the best players nationally and plans are already in place to make the most of this opportunity immediately. All credit should go to Ricky Martin and his colleagues for achieving Category One status and we now look forward to them developing our academy into one of the very best in the country.”

City have been granted a three-year licence after pushing ahead with an expansion drive over recent months to recruit extra coaches and staff to comply with the independent audit. As part of the ambitious plans, the club’s Colney training centre will also continue to undergo a major structural re-development to meet the infrastructure needs of the project.

A statement on the club website said: “Part of the push for EPPP category one status has included a huge recruitment drive, with the academy adding even more talented coaches and staff to their ranks in order to help players develop at the club.

“This becomes even more significant should the club ever qualify for European competition again in the future, with UEFA rules stipulating that clubs must run a youth programme and its coaches have a minimum number of badges.”

McNally, speaking earlier during the audit process in October, had previously outlined the longer term vision is to ensure City reap the benefits from a steady stream of fresh talent.

“We believe it would take only one player to come through each year to be part of a 25-man Premier League squad to make this self-financing,” he said. “The financial investment is huge, but we think we can get pay back.”

The first visible signs of the overhaul in youth football at the elite level has already been seen this season with the Premier League U21 development structure replacing the previous model of reserve team football.

20 comments

  • This is a very exciting time for all us supporters of Norwich City, and the benefits of having a much better youth setup will in the long run hopefully help sustain the club on and off the field. A good trickle of youth products is never a bad thing. But with regards to Doc's point about United I seem to believe that, Evans, Welbeck, Cleverley, Fletcher, Rafael, Fabio and Macheda have come through the youth ranks alongside the likes of Scholes and Giggs and I am sure there are others I have missed off my list.

    Report this comment

    Demmen

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Brown, as in Wes Brown? I don't seem to remember him being part of the team that won the treble. I would stand to be corrected of course.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Apart from Giggs and Scholes who do Man United have from their Academy? I think that part of the problem in the past has been the management. Going back many people agreed that Chris Martin only got his chance because Peter Grant was manager. His successor wasn't particularly good at blooding youngsters, comments like "Tweedledum and Tweeledee" were a good indicator of how interested he was in any non loan players. The Academy, long term could be a real goldmine for us.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • How many of the current first team have come from the Academy? when was the last time we sold someone from the Academy? If my memory serves me right the Academy has been a total waste of time over the last few tears? Peterborough's Academy has served us better!

    Report this comment

    Chilly62

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • norwich are going to have to go some if they are to ever match their bigger rivals, Ipswich Town FC in the nurturing and devlopment of youngsters!

    Report this comment

    Liz Knott

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • I wish I had enough free time in my life to create alternative identities! But alas, no...

    Report this comment

    wisemanthree

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • I really thought Korey was going to make it. His performances in that L1 season were mature beyond his years, then he seemed to get forgotten. To a lesser extent, ditto for Tom Adeyemi. In fairness to Le Snott, I think there was a fair portion of self-deprecation\irony in its comment. Not wisemanthree incognito are you......?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

  • Oh course Knotty. Your highly successful youth policy is the reason why 1p5wich Down are a top Premiership club..........Oh...........wait a minute..........!

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Let's not forget that teams like Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea raid lower teams academies for young talent. You won't see Accrington Stanley winning the Champions league with six players from their academy. What a dreadful example to choose but you know what I mean. Do I though?

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • @DocOhNo Cleverly, Welbeck, Evans, arguably Macheda. SAF has always been one to promote his youth. Mixed with big money overseas transfers yes, but still. Thier team was built around their youth players such as Beckham, Neville bros, Butt, Brown etc when they won the treble. Proof you can have success with youth.

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    Will Nash

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • The point is that we were seriously restricted by the "90 minute" rule...a great amount of our catchment area was the North Sea. We can now scout and bring players in from all over the country and abroad (including Peterborough Chilly62). Back in the past we were able to bring in players such as Eadie, Cureton and others via a satellite youth facility in Bristol. The rules then changed so we weren't able to run a satellite development. This now means again we aren't restricted...all good news. As for 1p5wich Liz, it appears they are taking the Roeder route rather than youth development!

    Report this comment

    Yellow Blood

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Liz Knott--------Knott off.

    Report this comment

    superfan59

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • The point is that we were seriously restricted by the "90 minute" rule...a great amount of our catchment area was the North Sea. We can now scout and bring players in from all over the country and abroad (including Peterborough Chilly62). Back in the past we were able to bring in players such as Eadie, Cureton and others via a satellite youth facility in Bristol. The rules then changed so we weren't able to run a satellite development. This now means again we aren't restricted...all good news. As for 1p5wich Liz, it appears they are taking the Roeder route rather than youth development!

    Report this comment

    Yellow Blood

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • @DocOhNo Cleverly, Welbeck, Evans, arguably Macheda. SAF has always been one to promote his youth. Mixed with big money overseas transfers yes, but still. Thier team was built around their youth players such as Beckham, Neville bros, Butt, Brown etc when they won the treble. Proof you can have success with youth.

    Report this comment

    Will Nash

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Will, Denman thanks for the info, I genuinely didn't know, not a rhetorical question. I want our academy to be as productive as it was in the good old days.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • I have to agree with other posters that we have seen few players progress through the ranks at NCFC to the first team and that is very disappointing. We could do with developing some good strikers for a start as Holt only has a few years left in him at PL level. Teams like Man U and Liverpool have shown that giving young players the opportunity at senior level does pay off - I hope in the near future we will be doing the same thing.

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    kevin rymell

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Agree Chilly62 that we've had a poor return on the cost of the Academy in recent years but this is something we would be silly not to pursue. Now we're Cat 1 status we're not restricted in our recruitment and as a Premier League club we will be seen as much more attractive. The increased cost will be pretty small especially if we can retain our Premier League status. It's got to be worth doing.

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    Graham Last

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • It is amazing to see this article use Declan Rudd as as example of the advantage of an academy as he is a brilliant example of a player who is NOT getting the chance he deserves. If your son was a gifted teenage goalkeeper would you advise him to attend the Norwich academy unless you lived in Norwich and couldn't stand the thought of the Norfolk cart tracks to take him elsewhere?

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    waclor

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Don't forget that we have four ex-academy players out on loan at the moment - Tom Adeyemi, Jed Steer, Korey Smith and Chris Martin - and I would say that three out of those four are pretty good prospects. As for Man U, their treble-winning squad of 1999 had six former youth players - Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, the Neville brothers and Butt. Wes Brown was also in the squad but hardly played that season because of injury, and Scholes failed to make the Champions League final because of suspension.

    Report this comment

    Johnny Gavin Lives

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • As for Ipswich, was that Sunderland reserve a product of their academy?

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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