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Club News


7 December 2021

Training Ground Guru 2020/21 Academy Productivity Rankings released

- Training Ground Guru annually rank productivity of academies
- First rankings released for three years
- Town Academy would rank 19th in country if eligible

Training Ground Guru have released their 2020/21 Academy Productivity Rankings, giving Town’s Academy special recognition.

Despite only ranking academies from Categories One to Three, the Club were given special mention alongside Brentford for our approach to youth development.

If eligible, Town’s Academy would have ranked 19th in the country, whilst Brentford would be 59th. A pleasing result for the Club, our previous ranking was 33rd in 2016/17, highlighting the improvement that has been made since making the decision to restructure our Academy.

Topped by Manchester United, the top five are made up of fellow Premier League sides Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton, who all operate Category One academies. Middlesbrough, who rank 9th, are the only side outside of the top flight to rank within the top ten.

CLICK HERE to read the full results published by Training Ground Guru.

Commenting on the results, Academy Manager Emyr Humphreys said:

“These results are a sign that we’re going in the right direction.

“There was a lot of discussion around our decision to restructure the Academy and only time was going to tell if it was the correct decision or not, but these results are starting to show that we’re making progress and heading in the right direction.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but it’s a positive sign and something we’ll keep going with – hopefully getting higher in rankings such as these.

“We’re in a really exciting place at the moment. We have a lot of players sitting just under First Team level, with a lot of potential and we’re really confident of seeing graduate to First Team football over the next few years – we’re even starting to see that this season with Scott High, for example.

“There’s plenty more to come, too. If you look at how well Rarmani Edmonds-Green is currently doing on loan, Romoney Crichlow too who played so well when required last season, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’re confident that we have a group of 15 to 20 players now who can take a similar path.

“We’ve always seen punching above our weight as an exciting challenge, it’s a big thing that means a lot to us. We are run as a Category One academy would be, we’ve always been pretty clear about that being the level we want to be run at.

“Category Four is just a label, what we actually provide day-to-day in our opinion is Category One, and certainly better than what some of those categorised higher than we are have on offer. That’s the level we pitch ourselves at, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the labels.

“The questions we ask of ourselves are: Is what we’re doing working for us? Is it value for money? And these results would show that it is.

“It’s a nice bit of recognition from Training Ground Guru, they don’t have to do that. We are running a different model, so I guess it’s good for them to compare us – who do things outside the norm and outside of the system – and how we’re doing to the sides who do follow the EPPP guidelines.

“Perhaps it’s a sign that there are other ways of doing things and that doing exactly what everyone else is doing isn’t always the most effective way.”

Want to see the Town Academy for yourself? We are in FA Youth Cup action away at Bloomfield Road against Blackpool on Thursday 9 December, which can be attended for free!

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