Norwich City retain category one academy status

Josh Murphy is one of the success stories from Norwich City's academy. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focu

Josh Murphy is one of the success stories from Norwich City's academy. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City have confirmed the club's academy has retained its 'Category One' status for the next three seasons.

City successfully passed their latest audit to enable the club's under 16s, under-18s and under-21s to compete with elite academies across the country.

City were first granted 'Category One' status in 2012 following the roll-out of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), a long-term strategy for youth development.

The fresh three-year licence has been awarded after a stringent six-month independent audit process which covered areas as diverse as the quality of coaching to the infrastructure at Colney.

Academy manager Gregg Broughton said: 'Last season was a big test for all of our staff, and they did a tremendous job in preparing for the audit and making sure that we got across the line.

'It's been three years of hard work though, because you have to make sure that the academy is being run to the standards required at Category One level, and that's firmly tested as you go into the last year of the process.

'The audit's final report highlighted several key strengths of our academy. It also pointed to our ability to play Under-21s games at Carrow Road on a consistent basis in front of large crowds, so the fans themselves have to take some credit for that for turning out in the numbers that they do and hopefully they'll continue to do that this coming season.'

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The club's interim chief executive Steve Stone reiterated the retention of City's elite status is vital to developing homegrown players for the Canaries' first team.

'I am extremely pleased that the club's academy has retained its Category One status for the next three seasons,' he said. 'I am well aware of the additional commitment that the academy staff have put in during the audit process, to ensure this retention.

'Of course the ultimate focus is always on the objective of producing homegrown players to play in the Norwich City first team, and the hard work put in to retain Category One status is therefore very important.'