Academy Retains Category One Status

Wolves delighted to announce the Club's Academy retains Category One Status

The Award is subject to ratification by the Professional Game Body (PGO) but this is seen as a formality.

Wolves first achieved Category One status back in 2012 following the introduction of the Premier League’s Elite Performance Plan (EPPP) aimed at improving the quality and quantity of homegrown players produced by top English clubs.

Academies were then audited for the standard of facilities and the quality of the provision given to Academy scholars, with four different tiers in place.

With the constant need to develop and improve the standard of Academies, the EPPP criteria has been significantly enhanced since 2012, and the independent audit carried out earlier this year has seen Wolves retain the Category One status.

Wolves were among those given the top Category One grading, which means their philosophy, productivity, working practises, facilities and development of young players is among the best in the country, and they will enjoy a fixtures programme against all the other top Academies who achieved the same grading.

CEO Jez Moxey said: "We are thrilled to receive a renewal of the Category One accreditation licence for the next three years.

"This three year endorsement, the highest any club can receive, is testament to the outstanding work being carried out by everyone involved in the Wolves Academy. 

"Youth development is at the very heart of what we do here, with total commitment from the board, through the head coach to all the Academy staff and, of course, the players themselves.

"Our productivity results of developing young players for the first team are there for all to see, as our wonderful facilities at Compton Park.  However, what might not be so evident is the hard work that goes on day after day, week after week to ensure our commitment towards developing young players is a good as it can be and having one of the very best academies in the country is maintained. 

“This news reconfirms that position and we couldn’t be more pleased with the result.”

Kevin Thelwell, Head of Football Development & Recruitment, said: “This is fantastic news for everyone connected to Wolves.

“It’s a team effort across every part of the Club but particular congratulations to Gareth Prosser and the Academy team.

“They have put in a tremendous amount of work over the last three years, which has led to the outstanding development of our young players, something which Kenny and the first team coaches have continued to develop further.

“I’m delighted for them that, after a rigorous and independent assessment, these efforts have resulted in the highest Academy rating possible.

“In fact, the Premier League has told us that the Wolves Academy achieved a ‘high level’ in terms of overall results and scoring across the different criteria, compared to a number of other clubs securing Category One status.

“This places Wolves as one of the ‘best of the best’ in youth development, something that should be a great source of pride for our staff, players and supporters.

“At the end of this three years, we’ll have been a Category One club for a total of six years, which gives us a great platform to build on our record of developing youngsters through the age groups and into first team players.”

Academy Manager Gareth Prosser added:  “We are delighted and that is everyone involved in the process – it is a reward for all their hard work carried out not just during the audit process but over the years since EPPP was brought in.

“We were first audited in 2012 and were one of the clubs who received Category One status.  Over the last three-and-a-half years or so we have had to adjust as the Academy rules and requirements have been tightened and its criteria revamped further.

“We have managed to improve our standards in line with these changes to receive a renewal of the top status possible.

“It is now very important that we don’t sit back and become complacent.  We will continue to strive to improve even further and compete with the very best, or indeed be ahead of the very best clubs in youth development.

“I’d like to thank all the Academy’s sponsors, particularly the University of Wolverhampton, Bob Laslett and Total Fleet and, of course, our education partners as well.”