The Premier League… 2Dalton Harris
So, I’m sure most, if not all of you have heard of The Barclays Premier League?
How many of you have heard of the Premier League 2? No? Well, read on.
It’s a new competition that replaces the Under 21’s and Under 18’s league. It’s been created to help players up to the age of 21 develop their technicality, physicality and intensity which in theory should give them a close experience to playing at first team premier league level.
In a nutshell, the league itself has 2 divisions with 12 teams each with promotion for the 2nd division team and teams placed 2-5 having a play off. Relegation is also possible from Division 1 as the bottom 2 teams go down but relegation isn’t possible from Division 2.
The new competition is designed to give young players on the verge of the first team a chance to get as close to the first team experience as possible so they’re best prepared when they do make the step up. This is great as it encourages player development in a “safe” learning environment without having 30,000 people screaming at you from the side-lines but also encourages the passion and desire to remain focused on winning the division, just like the premiership.
The clubs that form the Premier League 2 are of category 1 status in the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) and is made up of 15 clubs premier league clubs and 9 championship clubs.
What’s the EPPP I here you say?
It’s a long term strategy designed to advance Premier League Youth Development and was introduced in 2012. The design which is a result of collaboration from the Premier League, Football League, the Football Association and other key football stakeholders. The whole point of the EPPP is to create better home-grown talent, which is you guys.
Even more great news for you, is that it is available for Foundation (Under-9 to Under-11), Youth Development (U12 to U16) and Professional Development (U17 to U21). Currently, it’s hosted around 6,000 games from tournaments to leagues across the country and aim’s to provide a well-rounded footballer, which means education too. The league has its own Education Department that delivers a programme to support the technical, tactical, physical, mental, lifestyle and welfare development of all Academy players.
This sounds great, and is exactly what I’m trying to replicate, but for you guys through the Football Secrets part of this site.
What makes a club Category 1?
Well, each club and academy is assessed and given a category between 1 and 4. This assessment and categorisation is based upon 10 differing factors from facilities to education. This also provides an incentive for the academies because, the higher the category the more funding is provided to that club to generate more talent and so on.
What’s really positive is that everyone is talking about youth develop, which is you, and how important it is for the future of the game, national team and the league system.