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Everton Academy granted elite status


Everton FC's Academy has been given license to operate an elite tier Category One academy for the next three years as part of the Premier League's new youth development system.

The Club's Academy underwent a stringent independent audit and the training facilities, productivity and coaching, education and welfare provisions at Finch Farm were all accredited with the top grading.

The Elite Player Performance Plan is a long-term strategy designed to take Premier League youth development to the next level, increase the number and quality of home grown players and improve coaching provision.

Everton Academy Manager, Alan Irvine, responded to the news by saying: “When we try to attract players to the Club, we are delighted to be able to say that we have Category One status. We are one of the leading academies in the country and on top of that there is a pathway to the first team.

"That is a very important selling point for us because everyone can see the opportunities that talented young players are given here.

“Over the years we have had a lot of young players come through and been given a chance and that is not always the case at the big Premier League clubs. We wouldn't like that to be undermined by the fact that we weren't Category One.

“There's no doubt that this is about what you are able to do to help the players make the progression into the first team. There is certainly no reason why players can't break through in other categories of academy, but we want our players playing against the best. We want to have increased access to players. We want to have the freedom to recruit nationally if we choose to do so. So being a Category One academy is essential.”

Quotes or other material sourced from

Reader Comments

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James Martin
588 Posted 04/12/2012 at 19:35:55
What's this?! The coaching has been judged by an independent audit to be worthy of the top grading? Surely they are all Moyes's defensive mates who know nothing about attacking football? After all, we've all been inside Finch Farm (as well as the dressing-room, boardroom, training pitch, Moyes's office) and conducted our own thorough independent audits to come to these conclusions.
Barry Rathbone
592 Posted 04/12/2012 at 19:49:31
I don't care if they call it "Noddy and Big-ears school for delinquents".

Lets have a bit more than a Jack Rodwell in the next 10 years. I like Mourinho's attitude giving the coach of Castilla (Real Madrid's reserves) a bollocking for not producing first teamers.

Can't beat a bit of accountability.

Peter Thistle
595 Posted 04/12/2012 at 20:08:59
10 of the 11 Barcelona players on the pitch a coupla weeks ago were all former academy players. For a club as skint as us, we could use a few coming through. No point having great facilities if it produces nothing.
Nathan O'Hagan
600 Posted 04/12/2012 at 20:25:40
Does this mean we might produce a striker who isn't shit or doesn't get injured every five minutes?
Michael Kenrick
604 Posted 04/12/2012 at 21:03:09
"We want our players playing against the best." — which is why we farm them out on loan to the lower leagues rather than pitch them in at the deep end; why we let them sit on the bench with the big boys to make up the numbers for game after game after game, rather than even give them a token run-out; why we keep bringing in ageing has-beens to shore up the side instead of promoting from within and proving that this mythical "pathway to the first team" really exists at Everton. (But for the very rarest of exceptions.)
Ian Bennett
612 Posted 04/12/2012 at 21:45:56
It you want to know why this country doesn't produce, ask how many hours a week kids do PE at school of quality coaching.

Look on the streets at how much footy gets played after school and at the weekend compared to years ago.

For kids that do play for teams, look at the size of the pitch that they play on, the level of coaching, skills that we demand, and tactics employed.

Compare and contrast the facilities and coaching of the developed world, and the hunger of kids from the developing world, with our kids. Look at England U21s — how many would you really want (excluding Sterling)?

Patrick Murphy
629 Posted 04/12/2012 at 23:44:47
According to a guy named Joe Strange in his article '5 reasons why David Moyes should sign a new contract' on the Bleacher Report website, Everton may have up to ten youngsters who he thinks may be good enough to battle their way to first team football in the coming seasons. Anyone know who these kids are?
Ciarán McGlone
630 Posted 04/12/2012 at 23:52:42
I would assume they include Barkley, Hope, Green, Lundstram, Duffy, Bidwell...
Jimmy Sørheim
638 Posted 05/12/2012 at 01:28:26
It's been so long since I have seen a young player in the first team, I'd have forgotten that we even have an academy!!!!!

The whole media saying Moyes is great at blooding young players are a freaking joke. Moyes needs to get a grip and start playing our best young players over decent period of time, not just 5 mins now and then as subs.

Minik Hansen
698 Posted 05/12/2012 at 15:01:12
Mathew Kennedy
Chris Lawlor
699 Posted 05/12/2012 at 14:48:36
Re the Mourinho comments to the manager of their B side... that was more a political move by the 'special one' as he continues to take over the running of the entire club piece by piece. Perez had put the B team manager in place under Pelegrino and Mourinho wants one of his mates there instead.

Agreeing with most of the sentiments in terms of mirroring overseas sides... Spain surely has to be the model now for all English sides looking to harness local talent. The Spanish 'cantera' system picks up kids from 6 years old and takes them through to age 19+ playing a continuous unbroken style of football starting with futsal.

Teaching kids to be comfortable on the ball from day 1 has to be the cornerstone of any future development... and this is blatantly lacking across the land.

You only have to look at the likes of Swansea to see how the likes of Michu etc (who in Spain is seen as no more than average) shines above our supposed big shots.

There would be no harm in adapting our Centre of Excellence to the Spanish model and employing a range of continental coaches to enforce the ethos.

Give it 10 years and we'd be producing seriously talented youngsters... and still selling them to City...

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