The Newcastle Youth Academy held an open day at their facilities yesterday, and there are a number of reports out today about both the Newcastle Academy and the new rules that will soon be introduced.
Joe Joyce – Newcastle Youth Academy Manager
Newcastle currently are restricted in their ability to bring youngsters to Newcastle, because Academy rules do not allow them to sign under-18 players who have to travel more than 90 minutes from their homes to Newcastle.
Newcastle’s location can therefore work against them since the catchment area of 90 minutes travel from Newcastle is not huge, as it is for example in the Midlands or in London, or in the Manchester and Liverpool areas.
But this is about to change, if Newcastle can gain a new category one status – the highest – for their Youth Academy.
There will be four categories that will rate each Youth Academy, and of course Newcastle are going all out for Category One status.
Clubs have to submit their applications by March 31st, and the four category system forms the main part of the new Elite Players Performance Plan – EPPP.
The Premier League will carry out a four-day audit of clubs from April 10th, and will then decide which category each club falls into.
This new scheme will certainly change youth football in England, and will change the boundaries currently in place, and will enable top clubs to attract youngsters from all over the country and beyond.
This is how Academy manager Joe Joyce, who was born in Consett, explained this all yesterday:
“One of the main points is it would allow us to recruit players not just from the North East, but category one status would open up the whole country for recruitment.”
“If there was a player from Swindon, for example, Newcastle could bring that player in from Swindon from the age of 12.” “At the moment you can only recruit from within 90 minutes of your training ground.”
“That is a huge decision for the boy and his parents, and it is not something we would force.” “For the first year, that would only take us down to the age of 14, but within two years it would then be players from the age of 12.”
“We have to make sure when the market opens up we have a professional and appropriate recruitment mechanism so we can identify and select these young players.”
“What we also have to do is make sure what we have in the North East is the best the area can offer for any young player who is born and bred in the North East and wants to play for Newcastle United.”
“We can guarantee him and his family the program is going give him every opportunity to become that next No9, if that is the case.”
So there is a big push on at the Academy for Newcastle to be classed as a Category One Youth Academy, and that will greatly increase the catchment area for Newcastle from its current limitations.
We also find this interesting, because the great Lionel Messi was brought to Barcelona when he was just 12 years-old from Newell’s Old Boys in Rosario, Santa Fe in Argentina.
His father accompanied him to Spain, and of course he became the world’s best player over the last three years at the top Spanish club.
We wonder what rules were in place then to bring International youngsters to a Youth Academy?
But there’s little doubt these new rules will help Newcastle’s youth policy, and we fully expect Newcastle to be classed as a Category One Youth Academy in April.