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Swansea City’s Academy Achieves Category Two Status

Mon 24th Jun 2013 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Swansea City’s Academy has achieved Category Two status under the Premier League’s new EPPP grading system.  

In a stringent selection process, Swansea met all the standards with the league’s independent inspectors after substantial developments on and off the pitch. 

The new training ground complex at Landore helped meet the facilities criteria which has also seen staff numbers increase from two to 21 over the last few years.

But Head of Youth, Tony Pennock, has already set himself and the club the new target of securing Category One status with the Premier League.

“A lot of hard work has gone in over the last 18 months to make sure we secured Category Two status,’’ Pennock told the club’s official website.

“There have been some difficult and nervy days getting here, but we are all delighted to achieve approval. 

“It has to be said that it wouldn’t have been possible without the financial backing, support and encouragement of the club’s Board of Directors. They have made a major investment in both facilities and staff to allow us to move forward.

“While it also means that we will now receive extra funding from the Premier League, the main thing is that our teams, from the under-21s down to the under-9s, will be playing a better standard of football every week.

“We educate the players off the field as well, while match analysis and sports science have also become an important part of the Academy set-up.

“And when our young lads see how the likes Ben Davies, Jazz Richards and Dai Cornell have development through our youth system, there are plenty of role models for them to match.’’

Pennock is already planning for the next step in the Academy’s development by striving for Category One status.

“The hard work has only just started,’’ he added. “We are going to push on again with the aim of achieving Category One status within the next three years.

“The standards are higher at that level, but we have to aim to improve and that’s the next step for us. Most Premier League clubs have Category One academies. The first team are competing with those clubs, and we want all our youth sides to be doing the same.

“It’s another big step for us, but we are confident we can achieve it. The big thing which has held us back has been facilities, but we are improving in that area now.’’

With the £6m complex at Landore complete, work is well underway on the main £6m training ground at Fairwood that will eventually house the first team, Under-21 and Under-18s, with the juniors remaining at Landore. 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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