Chief Exec on EPPP
Chief Executive Nigel Howe believes our Category One Academy status is a key moment in the evolution of our club.
Nigel was of course part of the original decision to begin an Academy in 1999/2000, and attaining Category One in the new EPPP is arguably even more important in the timeline of youth development at Reading FC.
It is less than 20 years ago that the extent of our youth facilities was a tarmac pitch on the Tilehurst Road outside Elm Park, and now we are one of the elite programmes in the land.
Nigel said, "I’m really pleased that we’ve been told by the professional game board that we’ve now been awarded Category One status for our Academy.
"There are a limited number of Academies who have been awarded category one status. It allows us to achieve the highest grade in what we do around the Academy from coaching, education and producing the best players.
"I think it terms of the club’s development, it’s a very important factor. And also the ability to scout for players around the country gives us a huge opportunity to find the very best players.
"I’m ecstatic about it and just hope that we continue to grow and be successful.
"To think that years ago we only just started to develop the idea of having an Academy. We’ve had various members of staff who have gone on to greater things. We’ve had a real history of producing not only a good Academy but people who have worked within it.
"I see this as a continuation. We’re very lucky to have Eamonn Dolan here , who has driven this application to get the Category One status and all the necessary facilities, good practice in place, and quality of staff which is important."