Fleetwood Town can reveal plans for a huge investment to raise the club’s Academy status and further develop its state-of-the-art Poolfoot Farm training complex.
The club has formally lodged an application for the youth Academy to move from Category 3 to Category 2 in time for the start of the 2021/22 season.
The ranking system is part of the Elite Player Performance Plan and is a Premier League led strategy to improve the quality and quantity of home-grown players.
To facilitate this the Cod Army are also in the process of submitting planning permission to the Council for a seven-figure investment in an indoor full-size pitch which see Poolfoot Farm develop into one of the most advanced sporting facilities in the country.
The club currently operates a Category 3 Academy, running 10 teams from the Under-9 age group through to U23s.
Fleetwood Town employs 12 full-time and 20 part-time staff in its Academy, and it is expected this investment will see those numbers grow further.
Since being established in 2013, the Cod Army’s youth academy has contributed to more than 600 match day squad appearances and 300 starts - with 12 graduates making their debut in the last two seasons.
The rise of Fleetwood born Billy Crellin is the most notable product of the club’s Academy, not only featuring five times so far for the first team, but also representing England at U17, 18, 19 and 20s age groups.
At older ages the Senior Development Phase has developed the likes of Jack Sowerby and Ash Hunter, the latter making 216 appearances, scoring 38 goals.