Preston North End are delighted to announce that its Academy has been awarded Category Three status.
The Club received this recognition following a recent Premier League Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) Audit, recording one of the highest scores in the North West.
Recognition of the development of PNE’s Academy setup is evident in today’s first team squad, with Josh Brownhill recently making a significant mark on Simon Grayson’s starting XI, as well as being nominated for Apprentice of the Year and Goal of the Year at the Football League Awards.
Other players to have progressed through the ranks at Deepdale and earn professional contracts are Bailey Wright, Will Hayhurst, Ben Davies, Ryan Croasdale and Steven James.
The categorisation is a mark of excellence in terms of coaching, facilities, recruitment, policies and procedures and is awarded based on six fundamental principles which the EPPP base their long term strategy around.
Speaking of the recognition, Academy manager Nick Harrison said: It is a fantastic achievement; it has been a long process.
“We had to start with a new team due to a number of personnel leaving the Club, so it is a massive achievement and something all the staff should be really proud of because each and every one of them have worked really hard to get the category that we wanted.
“I would also like to single out Stuart Delaney (head of coaching) for additional praise who has worked tirelessly to help us get to where we are today.
“This means that we now have the licence to be an Academy which is why the Premier League has introduced this for every Club in the country, so it means we can operate and we do get a little bit of extra funding.
“Obviously the Club still have to put in a big part of that in terms of finances, but it doesn’t stop there, we have to make sure we keep meeting the criteria and the standards that have been set, so there is a lot of hard work still to do.
“We have met the first hurdle and passed the criteria which is fantastic.”
The Club would like to offer its congratulations to Nick Harrison and the rest of his backroom team for their fantastic achievement.