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News: Academy achieve Category 3 status

9 July 2014

Academy confirmed as Category 3 following recent EPPP audit...

Southend United Football Club’s Academy, based at Boots & Laces Training Ground, has been confirmed as a Category 3 Academy following the recent Elite Player Performance (EPPP) audit.

The hard work of many has gone into gaining this status, with numerous aspects of the Academy taken into account, including the day-to-day running, the long-term vision and the facilities. The audit took place towards the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

The success of the Academy was praised, having seen no less than eight graduates awarded professional contracts during the previous two seasons, including the likes of Jack Payne, Ted Smith, an England under-18 international, and Jack Bridge.

As well as receiving plenty of praise for their work, the Academy were given recommendations on how to improve, and reach the long-term vision of attaining Category 2 status, which was close to being achieved this time around.

Academy Manager Ricky Duncan was proud to have overseen the success. He said: “We are absolutely delighted as both an Academy and as a Club that we’ve achieved Category 3 status, and to have been so highly recommended following the audit we had at the end of last season.

“A huge amount of effort has gone into this from everyone associated with the Academy. All of the staff have been superb, while all the part-time staff have worked more hours than ever to make sure we achieved Category 3 status.

“I’m extremely proud of everyone, and I’m pleased to have been part of this. We’ve all worked extremely hard and to receive the feedback we did was superb for everyone who has been involved.

“It is great that the ISO recognised all of the work that we do and commended our efforts having spent a week with us towards the end of last season, looking at not only the coaching, but also the administrative side of the academy.

“Our first aim was to achieve Category 3 status, I’m delighted we achieved that aim with flying colours. I believe that in the future we have the capabilities to be awarded Category 2 status, which will be another huge milestone for us.

“We’ve seen an excellent number of our graduates represent Southend United’s first-team, and that’s all down to the hard work that is done not just on the training pitches, but also behind the scenes.”

The Club’s Chief Executive Steve Kavanagh said: “The Academy here at Southend United continues to thrive and produce quality players for the first-team, but it is about much more than that.

“A lot of hard work from a lot of people goes in to provide the best quality coaching, and the best environment possible for the youngsters in our academy.

“Ricky Duncan has done a fantastic job overseeing the Academy, but funding is an important aspect that must not be forgotten about. Our Blues Lottery provides supporters with the opportunity to play their part in the success of our Academy, so please, if you haven’t already, take a look at signing up to support the future of this football club.”

To find out more about Blues Lottery, click here.

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