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Posh proposal to become Category 2 Academy accepted

Posh's application to increase the Mick George Training Academy status to Category 2 has been accepted, with auditing of the youth training facilities set to be "intense" through the upcoming season.
Peterborough United's application to become a Category 2 Academy for young players has been accepted (Photo: Peterborough United)

The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) was introduced in 2012 as part of a long-term strategy in English football to further the development of young players. The EPPP Academy system is split into four different categories, from 1 to 4 with 1 being the highest.

An independent assessment panel determines which category a club is placed into, judging on productivity rates, training facilities, coaching, education and welfare.

The higher an academy is rated, the more funding they will receive. At present, there are 21 clubs in England and Wales that have been awarded Category 2 status - with Posh hoping to be the next club to get to compete in the Professional Development League.

Kieran Scarff, academy manager, said: "Since I returned to the club, we have spoken about the possibility of applying for Category 2 status and to be honest I was naturally concerned with the pandemic and the impact that has had on all football clubs including ours that we might need to delay that application, but the owners have been absolutely brilliant.

"The application went in last week, the application has been accepted, which means we will be audited quite intensely throughout this season with the plan being that we achieve Category 2 status for the start of next season. It is very exciting times for the football club and achieving that status will have a long-term impact for Peterborough United.

"It means we will be able to increase our staffing beyond the model that we have at the minute, which can only benefit the players. The facilities will play a big part. There are plans to build an indoor dome, that is required at Category ‘2’ level, and that will have a huge impact, not just on the players within the Academy, but also the wider community as well.

"The increased challenges from a stronger and more varied games programme will support the recruitment and development of the players and that can only benefit the long-term with regards to the first team at this football club."

Co-owner Jason Neale has praised Peterborough United supporters for the role they have played in helping the club achieve this milestone. Donations following last season's curtailed League One campaign played a vital role in reaching this goal.

He said: "We would like to thank for season ticket holders who gracefully donated the credit for five unused 2019-2020 season games to the Youth Academy as their contribution was instrumental in allowing Peterborough United to press ahead with our ambitious plans to become a Category 2 academy.  

"As widely advertised, our goal is to produce three home grown players each and every season from the 2023-2024 season and achieving this higher status will help facilitate that goal through increased academy funding, better coaching and a higher level of competitive games. Darragh, Randy and I have loved seeing multiple youth academy graduates play for the first team this year and we are excited about the future."