Brentford FC to open Category Two Academy

To develop young players to come through BFC ranks and in to the First Team

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Brentford Football Club will open a Football Academy this summer in time for the start of the 2012/13 season.

The Club’s Board of Directors and benefactor Matthew Benham have approved the creation of a Category Two Academy – under the new guidelines put in place by the Elite Player Performance Programme (EPPP) – and Director of Youth Development Ose Aibangee said his department was on course to close the Centre of Excellence in the summer and open a Football Academy.

EPPP, the new way of organising young player development in England, will come in to force at the start of next season.
It will scrap the current two-tier system – with some clubs operating Centres of Excellence and others Football Academies – and move to a four-tier system.

All clubs will run Football Academies graded by the Football Association at Category One to Four with One being the most elite.

The clubs with higher rated Academies will gain more funding from the FA and Premier League and it is expected Category One and Two Academies will play fixtures against each other with clubs at Category Three and Four level doing likewise.
A Category Two Football Academy will allow young players at Brentford the chance to play on a regular basis against the top teams in the country.

Ose said: “We believe some Premier League clubs will set up Category Two Academies, this puts us on a par with them.
“The Board have backed the vision for a Category Two Academy and it is a massive financial commitment to do so.
“I thank them for it.

“The long term strategy is for Brentford Football Club to develop young players to come through our ranks and in to the First Team.

“A Category Two Academy will give us a better chance to do this and we are now full steam ahead for opening next season.”

Ose said a lot of what the Club needed to set up a Category Two Academy was already in place including staffing levels and programmes and everything else would be ready, including an indoor dome.

He said in order to mark the opening, games with Celtic and Liverpool had been arranged for the Club’s Under-8 and Under-15 squads.

He continued: “What we have in place is already helping us attract players.

“Of the 100 or so players we have signed in the last few years, very few support Brentford Football Club.

“Players are coming here because they believe in the staff and the people working for the Club.

“We believe the programmes we have, and the staff running them, are as good as the best in the country.

“We are already well above Category Two in some areas.

“We believe we can be competitive in recruiting and developing players.”

The announcement of the creation of a Category Two Football Academy at Brentford comes less than two weeks after The Bees’ Youth Team had the better of an FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tie against Stoke City, only to lose in extra time.

Ose added: “We exceeded my expectations in reaching the Fourth Round but we got there on merit and performed brilliantly against Stoke.

“We had three players from the Under-16 squad in the starting line-up and five in the squad, we were probably the youngest team in the competition.

“Those players can have an impact in the medium term so that looks bright.

“With the creation of a Category Two Academy, the long term future looks excellent.”

January 27, 2012