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Fleetwood Town's Academy granted Category Three status

23 June 2016

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Elite level coaching will be provided at Poolfoot from the age of 8 and upwards

Fleetwood Town are delighted to announce that the Club’s Academy has received Category Three status ahead of the 2016/17 season.

The Premier League have awarded the Cod Army with the status which would see elite level coaching operations at Poolfoot Farm from age eight upwards.

Since the introduction of the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan), Fleetwood Town are the first club to launch a full elite programme for U9s to U21s from a Category Four base.

The Club have been successfully running open trials this summer for all different age groups. It has been a rapid rise, with our youth development infrastructure growing year on year.

Poolfoot Farm has helped benefit Fleetwood Town and the surrounding area in numerous ways. The multi-million-pound training facility meets all the requirements needed for a Category Three academy.

A tremendous amount of hard work has been going on behind the scenes for this to happen. Both the Football League and the Premier League are convinced that Fleetwood Town has the right infrastructure in place to be a successful academy.

A number of full-time jobs have been created to enable and we have identified the majority of the UEFA B coaches required to work with all age levels.

Chief Executive Steve Curwood said: “To have achieved Category Three status in such a short space of time is remarkable. I must thank our Head of Coaching Jed Starkey for the fantastic amount of work that has gone into the application and process.

“Also, the work of Academy Director Stuart Murdoch and his staff for getting us this far has not gone unnoticed, it is excellent news for Fleetwood Town Football Club.

“We feel that we have the makings of a youth academy which will have a very positive impact on the Fylde Coast grassroots system which in turn will make Fleetwood Town a stronger football club.

“In my opinion, bringing local players through an academy to break into the first team is second only to winning promotions in football fans’ eyes. We will work hard to achieve this.

“Parents spend a lot of time at academies and to have a superb environment for them whilst they are on site with their children also enhances quality of life for those involved.

‘’As well as dedicated professional staff, with a true coaching philosophy, and detailed programme of development, the above aspects are massive if we are to succeed.’’

Jed Starkey  Head of coaching said ‘’From the outset of the project to establish a Category 3 Academy ready for August and the 2016-17 season, I was inspired by the clubs vision and drive to achieve success.  The challenge was incredible but the success so far has been remarkable and a credit to the whole club but more so the Academy staff who all played a part along the journey.

"I am looking forwards to the next 12 months where we will I'm sure encounter a range of challenging,  frustrating and exhilarating moments which all comes along in the package of Youth Development football.

"I must also thank the local grassroots teams and the parents of the players we have worked with over the past few weeks for their patience and support.’’

"We firmly believe that as a club we will drive the passion to succeed even further with the aim to develop players for the club, support the local community and improve grassroots football generally in the area.”

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