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Rovers secure top Academy status!

24 July 2016

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Blackburn Rovers are delighted to announce that the club's Academy has retained its Category 1 status.

Following an independent audit, Rovers once again received the elite rank, under the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

The EPPP is a long-term strategy designed to take youth development onto the next level, with the aim of creating a legacy for producing the very best home-grown players.

Following a thorough analysis of the facilities, quality of coaching, education provision and opportunities for Rovers’ young players, the Academy met the criteria to be awarded Category 1 status once again. 

Rovers Director Mike Cheston said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Owners for their continued support for the Academy. Without their financial backing the Academy would not have been able to achieve Category 1 status once again. 

“I would also like to thank all staff for their fantastic effort and commitment, enabling the Academy to retain this top ranking, which was originally achieved in 2013.

"This will now give the club the opportunity to build and sustain a successful football Academy, to enable young players to reach their full potential both on and off the pitch and hopefully one day play for Blackburn Rovers’ first team."       

Stuart Jones, Operations Manager at the Academy, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for everyone who’s been involved in the process, not just over the last 18 months, but since the last audit two-and-a-half years ago when a lot of the foundations were laid and have been built on, and this is just rewards for everyone’s hard work and commitment.

“To be in the categorisation with the clubs that we are in with, I think it says a lot about the club and the Academy as a whole.

“It comes with massive benefits for the football club, in terms of the calibre of player we can go out and recruit, both locally and nationally, as well as the games programme and the quality of opposition our youth teams will compete against, which can only be beneficial for their development as young players.”

Rovers’ Head of Academy, Eric Kinder, added: “It’s a credit to everybody at the Academy. The biggest plus from my side is our games programme, because we want to play against the best clubs in the country, like we did last season when we faced Arsenal at the Emirates and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and achieving Category 1 status allows us to do that again, so I’m absolutely delighted.” 

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