Bolton Wanderers’ academy has been awarded elite status by the Premier League.
The Whites have been granted a licence to operate a Category One academy for the next three years by the Professional Game Board Youth Group under the new youth development system, Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), being introduced in England.
The Bolton Wanderers Eddie Davies Football Academy underwent an independent audit this autumn and as a result the club’s training facilities, coaching, education and welfare provisions were all accredited with the top grading.
The Elite Player Performance Plan is a long-term strategy designed to take Premier League youth development to the next level, increase the number and quality of home grown players and improve coaching provision.
Wanderers’ academy manager Jimmy Phillips said: “It is pleasing for everyone who has put all the hard work and effort in. To have our organisation and our professionalism rewarded with this category one status is a tremendous achievement.
“Our plan is that the academy will play a very important part in the club’s future. Working hard as a club, we need to produce our own players and the success of the under-18 team in their league so far this season has been very pleasing.
“All of the full-time and the part-time staff at the academy have contributed in helping the schoolboy players go through the academy to become youth team players and young professionals.
“It has taken two-and-a-half years in order to achieve the changes in the youth development system. It is a system we have embraced as a club from the very start, and our academy is now recognised as our way forward.
“We are very pleased that we have been awarded this elite status.”