ability and potential as assessed by members of staff. We have to make an application for Scholarship places on an annual basis, many months before boys are ready to leave school or college. Most boys have already been signed by our Club on an Academy Registration form.
How can I get into a professional club's Academy?
There is no easy route to becoming a footballer. It is extremely important that you develop skill. The first step is to get involved with a team playing in good quality competition. For schoolboys, this would not only mean being in the school team, but also representing teams in your Town, County, District, and even Country. Good quality junior football is very helpful especially in regions where organised schools football is not available. Playing with other top quality boys can only help develop your potential. If you are aged 15-18, you need to be playing at the highest level of football within your age band and with other good quality players.
What happens if I live outside England?
There are stringent Rules and Regulations set by the Premier League for trials for boys born outside England. In summary, they are:
1. The earliest time a boy can attend an Academy for assessment is at the start of his fifteenth year. We are obliged to include restrictions on suitability – that a boy can only trial if he is recommended by one of our scouts or contacts. If he is deemed suitable for assessment he still cannot register for an Academy unless he resides within 1½ hour of its base – even then the boy must not be moving into the area for that purpose i.e. it can only be for family and not football reasons e.g. maybe the parent(s) moves jobs / positions to enhance his/her career.
2. If the boy is an EU/EEA citizen