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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