Brentford re-open Academy after six years
Written by Training Ground Guru — July 16, 2022
BRENTFORD will run a Category Four Academy from the start of next season after being granted a licence under the Elite Player Performance Plan.
This means the Bees will run teams in the Professional Development Phase - from the Under-17s upwards. They will have a U18 team and have entered the 2022/23 FA Youth Cup. Brentford will also continue to run a B Team.
The club operated a Category Two Academy from 2012 until 2016 but took the decision to close it in 2016. As TGG reported earlier this week, the Premier League has introduced new rules requiring its club to operate an Academy at at least Category Three level from 2024/25 onwards.
Clubs must also have an Academy in order to to compete in European competitions under Uefa rules.
Brentford Director of Football Phil Giles said: "When we achieved promotion in May 2021, we had in the back of our minds that this would have knock on implications for us in terms of operating an Academy.
“With the standard of First Team football improving, we would need to improve the standard of the B Team. However, Brexit has made recruitment of top talent from overseas more difficult. This applies to all English teams, which means in turn that the competition for top talent in this country has become even more competitive and therefore more difficult too.
"We also knew that promotion moved us one step nearer to European football, and while we still recognise that it is a big challenge to qualify for Europe, if we did manage to achieve it then we wouldn’t want to be prevented from taking part because of a technicality in the Uefa rules.
"When the Premier League recently changed its rules around operating an Academy, it became clear that we would have to develop a new Academy plan.
“As circumstances change, then the club will continue to evolve and adapt to whatever challenges we encounter, but always with the intention of being the best club we can possibly be.
“We are excited by the challenge that re-opening an Academy will bring, with good people already in place to tackle that challenge.
"Having closed the Academy once before, I want to be clear that we have no intentions of re-opening an Academy with any thought that it should be closed again at any time in future.
“We want our new Academy to complement and enhance our B Team programme, which we are confident will remain the best way that we can bridge the gap between Academy and Premier League football.
"We will be committed to running the best Academy that we can. In particular, we will put the welfare of the young people who attend our Academy at the forefront of our plans, with every Academy graduate benefitting from the experiences they gain from their time with Brentford, whether they eventually become a professional footballer or not."
Giles first revealed that the club could re-open their Academy on Episode #35 of the TGG Podcast in January.