Newcastle failed to reach Category One Status for our Youth Academy last summer when the new rules went into effect, and it was a huge embarrassment for the club, because other local clubs Sunderland and Middlesbrough were granted the status.
Joe Joyce – Newcastle Youth Academy manager
The Elite Player Performance Plan as it’s called, was put into place last summer to try to bring through home-grown players and there four major reasons for the new structure:
- Allows clubs to have more coaching time with their youngsters Helps clubs create links with local schools to help young players get the best out of their football and academic education
- Helps clubs create links with local schools help young players get the best out of their football and academic education
- Allows clubs in category one to recruit youngsters from further afield than permitted under the former rules
- Clubs can work with the Football League to help determine compensation for youngsters
Recent clubs who made Category One status are Reading and Leicester and they made a big deal of it on their web-sites, but it looks as though Newcastle have made Category One Status but no announcement from the club.
And maybe that’s because the club were embarrassed that we didn’t make it in the first place, and an announcement will only bring attention to the fact we didn’t make it twelve months ago when Sunderland and Middlesbrough did.
There is going to be just one National U21 National Division next season, the Barclays Under-21 Premier League, rather than the regional divisions that were in place last season, and it’s composed of the 22 Category 1 Academies.
These are the club with that status:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Reading, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
And the league fixtures have just been announced for next season, and Newcastle play Reading at the Madejski Stadium on 12th August, and it’s a 7:00 pm lick off.
This information is taken directly from the official Premier League site, so there’s no doubt we are now a Category One Academy – it’s just that we didn’t bother to announce it – so at the very least the Premier League thinks Newcastle are now a Category One Club.
But in any case, last summer we said Newcastle would be working very hard to correct what was a huge embarrassment, and it looks like the club have done just that.
It’s been a good reaction from Newcastle United, and the club should really announce the news – even if it’s just a one liner that keeps it low key.
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