Fulham retain Category One Academy status
Written by Simon Austin — September 14, 2017
FULHAM have retained the Category One Academy status they have held since 2012.
The Championship side are one of only 24 in the country to hold the top status. The categories were introduced in the summer of 2012 as part of the Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan.
Academy Director Huw Jennings said: “It’s really important for a club for our size and standing to be competing with the best clubs’ youth development in the country. We’re very proud of our Academy and we are delighted to have received further affirmation of our work.
“The other thing that is critical to us is the demonstration of the fantastic support we have had from the ownership and the executive of the club. They have backed the programme with a massive injection of cash into our facility development both last season and also for the long term future with the acquisition of the former BBC ground."
Fulham recently built an indoor facility at their Motspur Park Training Ground and have purchased land adjacent to the centre that was previously owned by the BBC. Jennings said it had been an achievement to complete the work "in time to the satisfaction of the Category One auditors".
“I should absolutely compliment [Chief Operating Officer] Darren Preston and his team - the facilities development programme was an outstanding achievement," Jennings added.
“The best thing for me about the facility development is that absolutely everyone at the club and within our local community benefits. No-one should anticipate that having a good Academy is because you have good facilities.
“You need to have a culture and environment that enables the best young players to develop and reach their full potential. If you look at the quality of facilities available throughout academy football, then you clearly have to be aspiring to have the best available for your own programme.
“That more than anything means a huge amount to me and my team in the Academy, that the Club is fully supportive of the Academy programme."