Stockport County awarded Category Three Academy status
Written by Training Ground Guru — July 13, 2022
STOCKPORT COUNTY have been awarded Category Three Academy status for 2022/23 after returning to the Football League for the first time in 11 years.
Only clubs in the Football League are able to apply for a license to operate an Academy. Stockport said the news “signifies a significant step forward in the club’s ambitious plans both on and off the pitch.”
County will now able to register upwards of 200 players from the ages of eight to 18 across nine age groups. Registered players will train three evenings a week at Stockport Sports Village and play games against other Category Three Academies at weekends.
The club added that: “A number of new jobs will be also be created within the Academy infrastructure specialising in youth development, across coaching, medicine and science, education and player welfare.”
Director of Football Simon Wilson said: “I have said it many times, but youth development is the lifeblood of all football clubs.
“The youth development system in this country is world-class, however It is limited to Football League Clubs and so when County were relegated 11 years ago, they lost their ability to operate a registered Academy – which has had significant impact to the Club and its community.
“Without access to an Academy, we could no longer register and provide quality training to local players. These local players had to move to other clubs, preventing County from needed talent and potentially transfer revenue when it needed it the most.
“Talented coaches and practitioners lost the opportunity to work for County and our supporters were unable to feel the pride of their sons or grandsons pulling on the jersey.
“It is with immense pride and excitement that we stand here today, as a Category Three Academy, led by an incredibly talented group of staff that are going to put us back on the map.
“This is something I hope all supporters can feel part of and I hope it won’t be long until they can sing again ‘he’s one of our own’.”
Andy Cannon, who had to move to another club 11 years ago when Stockport’s Academy was closed, played an important part in the goal that sealed promotion from the National League last season.