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O'Neill: Category One Still the Aim
Thursday, 6th Feb 2020 17:41

Blues general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill has reiterated that that Town are still aiming to upgrade their academy to category one.

Town currently run a category two academy having missed out on category one by 0.3 per cent in an audit in 2014 when the current system was instigated.

The category two set-up costs around £2 million a year to run, most from owner Marcus Evans plus a grant from the Premier League, while a move to category one is likely to add a further £1 million to that annual figure.

“Even as recently as this morning we were having conversations about the whole audit process, it’s changing, it’s never the same year by year,” O’Neill, who is also the club's academy manager, said.

“What I can say from an academy’s point of view we are constantly looking at new ways, new ideas, new coaches to come into the football club and bring that level expertise, to challenge the young players coming through constantly because it is an important part of the club that we can continue that conveyer belt coming along year by year making sure there are young players coming through.

“And I am really excited, right from age 14 upwards there are some really good players. You never know how they’re going to ‘nurture’ and how they’re going to come out but Bryan [Klug, head of academy coaching and player development], Adem [Atay, U18s coach], Nashy and Hoggy [Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg, U23s coaches], they’re all doing a fantastic job in developing the players for the future.

“It’s going to be exciting to see how that develops over the next four or five years.”

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pablovian added 18:13 - Feb 6
Could Mr. O'Neill explain why, if the 'nearly Category One Academy' has been so successful,

1. The club is operating in League One, i.e. two levels below the Premier League.

2. Performances against clubs in the top half of League One are consistently disappointing.

3. The club carries debt of almost £100 million.

4. The debt increases by around £6-£8 million each year.

As Albert Einstein once pointed out, "Insanity Is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."


RegencyBlue added 19:11 - Feb 6
Bottom line here is that Evans had the opportunity to go for Cat 1 status at the start of the whole system and didn’t do so to save a few quid.

Once it was realised this was a colossal mistake (another one!) he’s been trying to get Cat 1 status ever since but the problem is the existing Cat 1 Academies don’t want any more to join the club so the goal posts to join keep moving.


runningout added 19:22 - Feb 6
Seem to remember that’s when things started getting bad when we lost Category 1

ITFCsince73 added 20:06 - Feb 6
Memo from the Marcus Evans Group to all senior ITFC employees.
Just tell the punters what they want to here.
It’s worked all these years, and will continue to do so.
Please use the phrase “working towards”. That way we won’t be held to account when something doesn’t materialise. Which is always the case, when we set plans in place.
Remember talk costs nothing, action does.

Thank you.

midastouch added 20:53 - Feb 6
Going to have to get an O'Neill ad-blocker browser extension added at this rate!

midastouch added 20:55 - Feb 6
O'Neill: Tractor Girls' Success Just the Start
O'Neill: Evans Still Very Much Committed to Town
O'Neill: Lambert Contract Offer Not Premature
O'Neill: Squad is Competitive Enough to Be…
O'Neill: Youngsters' Contractual Situations…
January Interest No Surprise to O'Neill
Somebody sure had their ear chewed off today then!

Doctor_Earman added 06:21 - Feb 7
What's the point of having a Cat One Academy when the youngsters never get a proper chance ahead of 'great blokes' such as Chambers and Skuse?

Carberry added 12:10 - Feb 7
He's also Academy Manager, does he sweep up at the end of the day too?

LippyIppy added 20:00 - Feb 7
O’Neill needs to sort out the sorry state of the academy first. Rumours of nepotism and underhand dealings are rife.

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