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Town Will Look to Upgrade Academy
Town Will Look to Upgrade Academy
Tuesday, 9th Apr 2013 14:03

Academy director Bryan Klug has confirmed that the Blues will be looking to upgrade to a Category One youth set-up from the current Category Two.

“The owner is keen on applying for Category One and we will be doing that as soon as we can,” Klug said. “But there is a lot of expense involved and we have to find ways of funding that.”

Speaking in February, shortly after Category Two status was confirmed by an independent audit, academy operations manager Helen Broughton told TWTD that such an upgrade is not a huge leap: “What we’ve put in place to get to Category Two is massive in terms of facilities and staffing and the next step up isn’t that massive.

“Hopefully, it’s a matter of another couple of members of staff and another classroom, so it’s quite small really.

“The stipulation is that you put in £1.5 million at Category One and you get £750,000 as a grant on top, but this club spends a lot on its youth development anyway, so while there’s a little bit more investment required, it’s not massive.”

Clubs can apply to be re-categorised every other season, so the earliest the Blues could make the step up is 2014/15.

Meanwhile, Town’s U15s beat Swansea 3-0 at the Category Two national finals at the National Football Centre at St George’s Park today, having previously won the south-east regional tournament.

The youngsters, who have ex-Blue James Scowcroft amongst the staff who have travelled with them, lost their first two games 2-0 to Birmingham and 1-0 to Crewe yesterday and finished fifth at the two-day competition.


Photo: Action Images



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CanadianBlue added 14:10 - Apr 9
Glad to hear that we're looking for a Cat 1 Academy, think given our youth system it's the best move.

And congratulations to the U15 on their victory!
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alexharban added 14:11 - Apr 9
Good news!
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Nthsuffolkblue added 14:14 - Apr 9
Far better to hear of it this way round - started with Category 2 and looking to step up to Category 1 than if it had happened the other way round. Regardless of what Category the club runs, the important thing is identifying the right players and preparing them properly for professional football.
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itfcjoe added 14:16 - Apr 9
Excellent news
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Marcus added 14:23 - Apr 9
I wonder if this is motivated by players turning down the club due to being offered a place at cat 1 teams?

A year until we can apply gives us time to make the improvements.
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MaySixth added 14:25 - Apr 9
Just ask Keiron Dyer for extra funding :-)
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Lord_Mac added 14:48 - Apr 9
And so the penny finally drops....
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JeanManuelThetis added 15:15 - Apr 9
Makes complete sense - essential for the long term development of the club.
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gorse added 15:34 - Apr 9
Great news I think, but what has happened to change the thinking since this was last debated? We heard lots of great reasons why we should be Cat 2. so what has changed since then?
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Campag_Velocet added 15:52 - Apr 9
"Speaking in February, shortly after Category Two status was confirmed by an independent audit, academy operations manager Helen Broughton told TWTD that such an upgrade is not a huge leap: “What we’ve put in place to get to Category Two is massive in terms of facilities and staffing and the next step up isn’t that massive."

That's not what SImon Clegg said when the Trust were campaigning for Category One status. And also given that Evans says he's going to continue putting his money into the club, the Academy is the only way you can do that.
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bluefeast added 16:07 - Apr 9
oh well , lets get promoted at the same time then
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BotesdaleBlue added 17:18 - Apr 9
The story is as welcome as it is odd, because Clegg led us to believe, on numereous occasions, that Category 1 was a massive step up and well out of our reach, certainly whilst we remained outside of the Prem.

Lets just hope this happens in the future as it will be a massive boost.
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MattinLondon added 18:15 - Apr 9
After seeing millions of his money wasted on established championship players and has-been premier league players, maybe ME now sees the future of the club resting on the academy.A long term strategy built upon youth can only be a good thing.

Also I would be very surprised if MM didn't have some influence on this as well. All-in-all, this sounds like another good reason to be cheerful for the future of the club.
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WhoisJimmyJuan added 18:22 - Apr 9
I'm wondering if this, and the Carlos Edwards story are signs that Marcus Evans is getting more involved as was susggested when Clegg left? Thoughts anyone?
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BossMan added 18:49 - Apr 9
I was thinking exactly the same JimmyJuan. The jury has been out for me on whether Evans is a blessing or a curse. Its a complicated debate and not easily proven either way. For my part upgrading the academy is not the action of someone supposedly looking to sell the club. It shows a real (even if relatively small) commitment. Perhaps I've been wrong to be sceptical about Evans and certainly this is good news for the future of the club.
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Blue041273 added 19:09 - Apr 9
While this is good, we need to recognise that there is currently no platform for the graduates of the academy to perform on. The under 21 league is a joke especially given that over age players can participate. We need a strong reserve league in which blossoming talent can be melded with experienced fringe players. Until this happens, kids who haven't made the early transition into the first team squad by the end of their academy scholarships probably can forget it. There is little room for manoeuvre for the late developers like Luke Hyam.

We are somewhat unique in the top divisions in traditionally giving youth a chance. This philosophy can't possibly survive in the modern game if youth players have to prove themselves before they leave the academy.

Late developers? - Roger Osbourne - I rest my case.
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PhilTWTD added 19:14 - Apr 9
Not entirely at odds with what was said last year, the idea of Cat 2, then upgrade to Cat 1 was mentioned:


Clegg: Category One Could Come After Promotion 8th Mar 2012 14:15
Town chief executive Simon Clegg has hinted that the Blues could initially opt for Academy Category Two status as a stepping stone towards moving to Category One after promotion to the Premier League. The Blues have to decide which level of youth set-up they are going to commit to for next season before the end of this month. 26

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Kikapu added 19:47 - Apr 9
Cat 1 makes sense to me too. You must take into account geography. An Irish kid will only choose Ipswich over, say, a midland team, if there is a clear advantage. Cat 1 will help them to make that decision.
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RegencyBlue added 20:51 - Apr 9
“The owner is keen on applying for Category One and we will be doing that as soon as we can”

Well this could be in a year or ten years time! I'm not getting too excited just yet!
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