12:32 15 February 2012
By Jonny Lally
A guide to the Elite Player Performance Plan
What is the EPPP?
The Elite Player Performance Plan is an ambitious long-term vision with the aim of giving English football the ability to create the best Academy system in the world, allowing clubs to produce more and better quality home grown players.
It has been developed after consultations with Academy Managers, Premier League clubs, the Football League, the Football Association, and other key stakeholders within the game.
From the 2012-13 season, Academies will be audited according to the EPPP’s classification system, and put into one of four categories – the highest of which will give clubs more opportunity to extend its elite environment and make more strategic decisions.
It will replace the current two-tier model of Academies and Centres of Excellence, and will the see the Colney Training Centre undergo massive developments in order to meet the criteria, including 22 full-time staff.
|Category One||Regular graduation of players into the Premier League and wider professional game with up to 8,500 coaching hours|
|Category Two||Graduation of players into the Premier League from time to time and regular graduates into the wider game with up to 6,600 coaching hours|
|Category Three||Graduation of players regularly into the professional game and players capable of progression into Cat One and Cat Two Academies with up to 3,600 coaching hours|
|Category Four||Graduation of players into the professional game with up to 3,200 coaching hours|
The Premier League and the FA will be investing an increased amount of central income into Youth Development nationwide, so the higher the classification given to the club in the EPPP following an independent audit, the more funding will be made available to it, alongside signification financial commitments from the clubs.
Under the old guidelines, teams in the professional development phases (U18s and Reserves) played in leagues consisting mostly of teams from the same region, with no limit on the age of Reserve team players.
EPPP proposals now mean Norwich City’s under-16s and under-18s sides with play at the same time on the same day (usually Saturdays) against their opposing age groups from the same team. The under-21s development squad will also play the same opponents, but at the opposite venue to the U16s and U18s.
The U16s and U18s will play the majority of their games on a Saturday (see fixture list), and home games will be played at Colney Training Centre.
The U21s must play at least four games throughout their season at Carrow Road, with the remainder of their home games taking place at Colney, and will be permitted to field a maximum of three players over the age of 21. Games are permitted to be played anywhere from Fridays until Mondays.
Category One clubs will play in their respective leagues up until Christmas, when teams will then take part in a play-off type system based on their league position at Christmas.
There are six fundamental principles that have been highlighted as key to the success of the EPPP, and will be achieved by focusing on coaching, classification, compensation, and education.
- Increase the number and quality of home grown players gaining professional contracts in the clubs and playing first team football at the highest level
- Create more time for players to play and be coached
- Improve coaching provision
- Implement a system of effective measurement and quality assurance
- Positively influence strategic investment into the Academy System demonstrating value for money
- Seek to implement significant gains in every aspect of player development
A focus of the EPPP will be to allow players more time with their coaches, as well as fostering links with local schools to not only aid players in their development as a footballer, but also to help nurture young players from an academic point of view.
The current system for determining compensation for players will also be reviewed with the Football League, along with the restrictions on player recruitment.
From the 2012-13 season, Category One teams will no longer be restricted to recruiting players from within a 90-minute drive of the club.
Key Performance Indicators
There are 10 key indicators for Academies, by which they will be evaluated and assessed by as part of the audit process.
- Vision and Strategy
- Leadership and Management
- Coaching/Development Programme
- Games Programme
- Athletic Development Programme
- Player Development Programme
- Talent Identification, Recruitment, and Registration
- Corporate and Financial Stability
Norwich City Football Club are proud to be at the forefront of youth development as part of the new Elite Player Performance Plan that will see a radical overhaul of the Academy system in England.
A significant financial commitment from the Club in its application for Category One status has been made to ensure the success of this ambitious long-term goal to produce the next generation of home grown talent.
The Club was previously restricted by the ’90-minute rule’, which dictated that only players within a 90-minute drive of the City could be recruited, however these restrictions will now be lifted.
This means that as well as concentrating on unearthing and developing the best home grown talent locally, the recruitment of players nationally is now permitted, which it is hoped will ultimately see a long-term benefit to the Club.
Recent structural developments and recruitment of a number of a significant number of key colleagues at the Club’s Colney Training Centre will see players working in better facilities and spending more hours with coaches throughout their football education.
The overall goal is to nurture and develop the best home grown talent by progressing them through each development phase with the aim of producing more players capable of breaking into the first team.