REMARKABLE PROGRESS SINCE THREAT OF ACADEMY BEING AXED WAS LIFTED
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.”