The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

ROCHDALE con­tem­plated scrap­ping their academy a dozen years ago but have made rapid progress ever since.

Dale cur­rently have ten full-time coaches and 20 part-time within the academy. Their ob­jec­tive is to progress from their cur­rent sta­tus of Cat­e­gory 3 to Cat­e­gory 2.

Rochdale are build­ing a struc­ture of coaches to sus­tain this, and the plan is to have this in place by next year. A fur­ther re­quire­ment is to have a club train­ing ground and ne­go­ti­a­tions are un­der­way to achieve this.

Dale cur­rently have in excess of 200 young­sters within their academy sys­tem.

In ad­di­tion, they have three de­vel­op­ment squads in the 16-18 age bracket playing in col­lege leagues. This pro­vides them with a greater op­por­tu­nity to spot play­ers who have not come through their academy sys­tem. The academy ex­ists to pro­vide play­ers for the first team and, when nec­es­sary, to sell them on to ad­vance their ca­reers and to pro­vide in­come for the club.

The EFL pro­vides pro­duc­tiv­ity ta­bles which mea­sure

where clubs stand in get­ting youth play­ers into first team foot­ball.

The ta­ble, right, high­lights the in­cred­i­ble strides the Lan­cashire club have made over the last 12 sea­sons:

The club said: “When you con­sider the fa­cil­i­ties and work­ing con­di­tions, this is truly an out­stand­ing per­for­mance.

“Our club’s pro­gres­sion is due to the work started 12 years ago. The early re­sults cer­tainly took time and ef­fort. They were re­warded as play­ers de­vel­oped and this is shown in last year’s fig­ures. To fin­ish third in the 92 Premier League/EFL is some­thing we could only have dreamt about.”

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