STOKE CITY'S remarkable list of home-grown players through the years is one that the Club is very proud of.
From the likes of Sir Stanley Matthews, Freddie Steele and Neil Franklin, the local back four of the 1970s, through to current first teamers Andy Wilkinson and Ryan Shotton, the Potters have always been keen to nurture local talent.
City have entered youth teams in competitive games for many years, including the inaugural FA Youth Cup tournament in 1952. After two Semi Final appearances in 1955 and 1961, the Club reached the Final in 1984, whilst also going on to lift the Midland Melville Cup in 1996.
Following on from the move to the Britannia Stadium in 1997, the next priority was to improve the standard of facilities for producing stars of the future. A specialised dome was built nearby on Trentham Lakes and the Club were granted Academy status by the FA Premier League in 1999.
Teams were entered into specialised Under-19 and Under-17 leagues, with those then becoming the Under-18 and Under-16 divisions following a restructure in 2004.
Further changes were announced in 2012 by the Premier League with the implementation of it's Elite Player Performance Plan. As part of the EPPP, an additional Under 21s league was introduced with the aim to bridge the gap between the first team and Academy levels.
YOUTH TEAM RECORD
Under 19s entered into FA Premier Academy League for it's second season
FA Premier Academy League Under 19s becomes Premier League Under 18s
EPPP introduced with a two-phase season
FA YOUTH CUP RECORD
A record of every Stoke City game in every round of the FA Youth Cup, since the first in 1952, can be found HERE.