important, our welfare staff will be in regular discussion with the school of the boy to ensure that his educational progress is not being jeopardised. As a rough guide we estimate that to be approximately 30-40 miles. For boys in age categories U12 to U16 the travelling time to training/coaching is extended to 1½ hours. U9-U16 (Boys within Greater Manchester) Within this region, we have a comprehensive network of scouts who cover U9–U16 games in all the various leagues at Town, County and District levels. We put great emphasis on these fixtures, and we believe that boys who may meet the standard required to enter our Academy should at least be involved with their Town team or be playing regularly in Junior football. Under the new rules we are now able to access boys who play Academy football.
U9-U16 (Boys living outside Greater Manchester)
We have major problems accommodating schoolboys who live greater than 2 hours from our training ground. We believe that young players should have a freedom to choose any club. We shall always seek mechanisms whereby any boy, wherever he lives, gets an opportunity to come to our club, provided one of our scouts recommends him. There are three cases:
1. We are now allowed to scout boys at U15 and U16 level registered in other Academies (under the new rules there are no Centres of Excellence and Clubs have Academies which are graded from category 1 (very elite) down to category 4, and provided they have not agreed to accept a Scholarship at their training club, would be eligible for a trial on completion of their current contract. Parents of such boys should be aware of these regulations.