PA Sport

Huddersfield downgrade their academy status

Huddersfield downgrade their academy status
By PA Sport

16/09/2017 at 13:02Updated 16/09/2017 at 13:07

Huddersfield have downgraded their academy status following an extensive review of the club's youth system.

The Terriers will operate at category four level of the Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan instead of category two, focusing resources instead on their elite Under-18 and Under-23 squads.

"Huddersfield Town is acutely aware of the impact this change will have on its existing players in the Under-8 to Under-16 groups in the academy currently, as well as the impact on academy staff," read a statement on the club's official website.

"A consultation programme has already begun with those people affected and the club will offer as much support as it can over the coming weeks to aid the transition."

Only one player, midfielder Philip Billing, has progressed from the academy into David Wagner's first-team squad since Premier League clubs agreed to adopt the EPPP in October 2011, and he joined aged 16 from Danish club Esbjerg in 2013.

Former academy manager Stuart Weaver left the club in August and has not been replaced.

"The need to find ways of being competitive is more pertinent than ever following the club's promotion to the Premier League. We must find ways of being competitive against our peers," said club owner and chairman Dean Hoyle.

"Our academy system must provide a strong and obvious pathway to the first team for players who are good enough, whilst also representing value for the club. Upon review, this is not something that we could claim.

"This decision has been the biggest we have undertaken in my time as chairman, and not an easy one.

"However, we cannot be afraid of change. This is a vital area to the long-term success of this club and we must make every effort to get this right."