Unless your club is in the Premiership, Category Two status is about as good as it gets!
League One club, Crewe Alexandra, has just submitted their application to become a Category Two club under the new EPPP academy classifications. Local newspaper Crew Chronicle has published the following article on the the new EPPP application.
Charmain John Bowler is confident Crewe Alex will still be able to produce world class players after the club submitted its application under the new national youth system.
Crewe have long enjoyed a reputation for producing high quality footballers – the most recent success story being Nick Powell’s mega-money move to Manchester United.
They have also been responsible for the careers of international talent such as Dean Ashton, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, Neil Lennon, Robbie Savage and Rob Jones, and raked in multi-million pound fees for Nicky Maynard and Luke Varney.
He believes it is essential Crewe attain certification for that level which would keep them among the best academies in the country.
He said: “We’ve now submitted our application and all the data to the Football League, which is currently examining the documentation and we hope they agree with us that we should become a Category Two.
“In that category there’s going to be some big, big names. I don’t think there will be another Category Two club of our size, so that says something for what Dario (Gradi) has done over the years and what James (Collins) and Critch (Neil Critchley, assistant academy managers) are now doing.
“That’s the kind of standing we feel we deserve and we have a right to be in that group.
“We want to be because we want to be associated with those types of clubs.
“If for no other reason, it’s important to us for our games programme. We want to be playing against other quality academy sides.”
Bowler is confident that, irrespective of the new system, Crewe will continue to attract quality youngsters – and that the big clubs will always take an interest in their prized assets.
He said: “I think we’ve always got to be sensible that if there is an exceptional, outstanding player he’s going to attract interest early on.
“I’m pretty sure the new academy arrangements aren’t going to turn that on its head.
“After all, it’s still up to us to persuade these young players that this is the right place to be, because this is where you can develop your career – that’s what we’re all about.”
You can read the full article here.
Good luck to Crewe and hopefully they will meet the required standards in the coming months!