Change to take effect from 2018/19 seasonAt Reading FC, we are pleased to welcome the amendment to the EFL’s policy which was announced on Thursday, which will require all member clubs to name at least one club-developed player in every matchday squad from the 2018/19 season onwards.
A ‘club-developed’ player refers to a footballer who has been registered to Reading for a minimum of 12 months prior to the end of his under-19 season. This differs from a ‘home grown’ player, which simply refers to a player that had been at any club affiliated with the FA or FAW for at least three years prior to their 21st birthday.
Reading FC voted in favour of this amendment, and we believe that this is an important forward step in increasing opportunities for young players to flourish at the clubs in which they are developed.
To date in the 2016/17 season, Reading have named club-developed players on our teamsheet on 154 occasions in all competitions. A number of these appearances have come from full-back Jordan Obita, who recently surpassed his 150th appearance in Royals colours, and midfielder Liam Kelly, who has had an eye-catching breakthrough season with the club that he first joined back in 2004!
No less than 41 graduates have gone on to represent Reading competitively since an Academy - largely shaped by Eamonn Dolan and currently led by Academy Manager Lee Herron - was founded in 1999.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “I hope this latest commitment made by our clubs is further evidence of the EFL taking the initiative in looking for practical and effective measures that can be introduced to help managers and coaches in the ongoing development of young players.
“It is imperative that we provide young players not only with a platform, but also with the belief that opportunities will be made available to progress from youth to senior football. I am confident that this decision will have a positive and lasting impact on the future of football in this country.”
We would echo these views and welcome these developments.
In addition, from next season EFL clubs will also be obliged to name seven home grown players in their matchday squads, up from the current requirement of six.