Rovers’ rising stars will continue to compete at the highest level of youth football after the club confirmed it will remain a Category One Academy.
First achieved in 2013, the elite Academy ranking enables Rovers to recruit high-calibre players, both locally and nationally, and participate in the premier games programme, where they will face the top teams in the country.
Rovers manager Tony Mowbray welcomed the news, saying: “I’m 100% behind the decision to remain a Category One club.
“We had four players who started the game at Brentford on the final day of last season that had all come through the Academy system and I think that Academies help to create club identities. Supporters like to see their own players coming through and getting into the team and doing well.
“I think there’s a potential revenue stream as well. Whilst we all want to see our homegrown players playing in the team and being successful, but if there is a sale at the end of it, then it’s all profit of course.
“I think a Category One Academy is a fantastic achievement for the club when we find ourselves in League One. It’s great credit to the Owners that they have agreed to sustain that status and hopefully the rewards are there along the way for doing that – that we can produce footballers out of the Academy that become first team players.
“Hopefully the next Ryan Nyambe is just around the corner and that’s got to be the aim for the club. So there are lots of positives, but lots of hard work in front of us as well to try and produce young players to play in the first team and help the first team be successful.”
Stuart Jones, Operations Manager at the Academy, said: “I would like to thank all staff for their continued hard work in ensuring we adhere to all the requirements of a Category One programme.
“I would also like to thank the Board and the Owners for their continued support of our Academy system. In terms of going forward as an Academy and developing players into potential future first team stars, it’s a massive achievement.”
Rovers Director Mike Cheston added: “This has been subject to intense scrutiny over the last few weeks with the operational efficiencies review and it’s great to see that we’ve come through that process with a positive outcome.
“Congratulations to all the staff for making that happen and a big thank you to the Owners, because without their significant support and financial backing, none of this would have been possible.”