Harrogate become latest club to enter EPPP system

Harrogate's Academy will be headed by former player Paul Stansfield

Harrogate's Academy will be headed by former player Paul Stansfield

LEAGUE TWO Harrogate Town are the latest club to enter the EPPP system after being granted Category Four Academy status.

The licence was granted by the Professional Game Board following evaluation by the Professional Game Academy Audit Company.

Harrogate’s Academy will be headed up by former Town player and Knaresborough Town manager Paul Stansfield and will provide full-time training for 16 to 18-year-olds.

Ross McKay will be their Professional Development Phase coach, with Phil Priestley as Goalkeeper Coach, Josh Walsh as Academy Secretary and Lee Barraclough as Head of Recruitment. A full-time physio and part-time doctor will also be appointed.

The Academy will be based at West Riding FA along with the current first team and will compete in the EFL Youth Alliance North East.

Harrogate’s two-year football scholarship will incorporate football and education delivered by the LFE (League Football Education), with scholars leaving with a BTEC qualification.

First-team manager Simon Weaver said: “The goal at this club has always been to produce youngsters from the first stage in our Player Development Centre to the youth teams and see them move into the first team and beyond so this is hugely important for us.

“There’s a lot of local talent but, by having an Academy, we are able to spread the net farther and wider in the hope that we produce some really good talented youngsters.

“I always thought that as a supporter to see one of the local players breakthrough just brought that bit more pride so it’s exciting already to see so many enthusiastic youngsters attend trials.

“We’re going to go for people that we think are honest lads and are very respectful so they’ll tick the boxes of all we believe in and allow us to know every team representing the club is taking to the field wearing the shirt with pride.”

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