West Bromwich Albion is delighted to confirm its Academy has been awarded the Premier League’s highest standard following a recent assessment of its four key functions – games programme, education, coaching and elite performance.
The club has been awarded Category One status – the level at which it has operated since the Elite Player Performance Programme was introduced in 2012 – following a recent audit.
The Baggies’ youth system has had its licence extended, ensuring the club’s development teams - including its U18 and U21 sides - will continue to play in Premier League youth competitions until at least the summer of 2025.
Academy boss Richard Stevens heaped praise on all involved in maintaining the incredibly high standards required to achieve Category One status and targets more success for Albion’s young hopefuls in the future.
Stevens said: “Category One is the benchmark all academies strive for, and I’m delighted our performance is deemed by the Premier League to be up there with the very best clubs in the country.
“I’d like to thank Ron Gourlay, Mark Miles and all of the staff involved in helping us to maintain this high standard, which has been the culmination of endless hard work.
“The club works tirelessly to continually improve its academy operation and to see our license extended is fully deserved. Our players will continue to benefit from the programme, playing against the very best teams in the country, which is imperative for their development.
“Category One is the gold standard for football clubs and means players are provided with everything they need on and off the pitch, including our education provision which is essential for all players, no matter how long they stay in the game.
“Carlos Corberán is incredibly enthusiastic about the academy and is keen to develop our young players, who regularly train with the first team which is a great experience for them and invaluable to their development.
“The club will continue to do all it can to provide young players with the platform to become successful footballers, and I’m sure there are many players within our ranks who, providing they apply themselves properly, are equipped to take that step forwards into first-team football.”