The Club took the decision to restructure its youth system in an innovative new manner.
The Town Academy recategorized itself from a Category 2 system under the Elite Player Performance Plan to a Category 4 system. This refocused the Club’s efforts on the higher Academy age groups where it has had its success in recent years with the progression of the likes of Tommy Smith, Lewis O’Brien and Philip Billing.
The Club will switch its age groupings to echo the European model, with Under-19 and Under-17 groups running alongside an Elite Development Team (EDT) for its older talents.
The Academy, under the leadership of Leigh Bromby, re-banded its age categories to fit the calendar year as opposed to the Academic year to try and combat relative age effect, which shows Academy age groups are usually full of August to December birthdays due to their physical development.
The EDT and Under-19 sides play bespoke, tailored games programmes that are put together to challenge Town’s young players, whilst the Under-17s will receive the physical stimulus of playing against Under-18 sides in league action.