A club statement on the Elite Player Performance Plan
The Youth Development programme which has been run by Premier League and Football League Clubs has been replaced by the Elite Player Performance Plan, known better as the 'EPPP'.
In the past, football clubs have either run their youth system as an Academy or Centre of Excellence. At Crewe Alexandra, we are proud that we have run our youth system as an Academy. The new EPPP means that every football club running a youth academy will be graded from Category 1 to Category 4 (1 being the highest Category).
At present, Crewe Alexandra holds a provisional category 2 licence. It is our aim to make this a permanent licence. The chairman, board of directors and staff are all working hard to making sure we give this club every opportunity to secure category 2 status.
While we are working towards this goal it is important that we don’t lose focus of what our academy stands for, by the way of producing players for our first team and possible transfer of players in the future.
At the same time, we see and support the new EPPP as we see other areas it will help us to develop . The EPPP breaks the player development pathway into three ‘phases’:
- the Foundation Phase (pre-academy & Under 9s, 10s & 11s)
- the Youth Development Phase (Under 12s to U16s)
- the Professional Development Phase (Under 17s to U21s).
The EPPP has enabled us to employ more staff which in the long run as given us more quality coaching time with our players from all phases. In addition, the introduction of an education officer has helped us to forge closer links to local schools which has released more schoolboy players into our school day release programme.
Our training ground has improved with the introduction of a new classroom & new physiotherapy rooms. The dressing rooms now provide each team with its own changing room and shower rooms.
The EPPP requires that we undertake an audit process run by a Belgium company called Double Pass, in conjunction with the Premier League. They will visit the Academy and assess how we coach and develop our players through our system. Double Pass will be with us for 4 days after which their findings will go back to The Premier league for our category to be determined.”