Stoke City Football Club, Clayton Wood, Rosetree Avenue, Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 6NB
STOKE CITY can now look forward to nurturing home-grown talent and attract the best young players to the Potteries after being granted Category One status under the FA's new Elite Player Performance Plan.
The Club was rewarded for 18 months of planning and hard work with that prestigious grading within the Academy set-up, thus boosting their prospects of achieving sustained success at the highest level in the long term future.
While the creation of the new training facility at Clayton Wood was an initial stage of that development process, there was also been a significant amount of work aimed at meeting the criteria of the EPPP Category One status.
As part of that quest, additional facilities at Clayton Wood have enhanced the £7 million state-of-the-art facility.
This has included the provision of more changing rooms, offices and a treatment room, as well as plans in place for the installation of a full-sized indoor pitch.
There is no doubt that the profile of being a Premier League club for the past six years and the success which has come with it in reaching a first-ever FA Cup Final in 2011 and qualifying for the Europa League in the following season has generated a considerable amount of excitement and enthusiasm for the game among local youngsters.
The Club is eager to tap into that, so that there will be more locally born players in the first team squad in the long-term future.