Confirmed: Our Academy is England's most productive

Friday 18 November 2022 08:11

Manchester United Academy has been consistently ranked as the most productive in England for the last 10 years, according to the Premier League.

The Premier League have published new information reviewing the last 10 years of the Elite Player Performance Plan, which also sets out the new direction for the future. This is the first time that productivity data has been officially been made public.

The Elite Player Performance Plan, launched in 2012 by the league, aims to ensure that teams up and down the footballing pyramid develop and nurture quality homegrown players.

This philosophy is in line with Manchester United’s, as it has been established since the late, great, Jimmy Murphy.

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Ever since the inception of the programme, United have ranked at the top of the Academy Productivity table, due to the commitment our club has to developing young players and seeing them through to the first team.

This year marks a significant youth development milestone at Manchester United. It is 90 years since the first seeds were sown for the club’s reputation for trusting in young players, when the 'A team' –a side set up by club secretary Walter Crickmer, under instruction from James W. Gibson – played its first game.

2022 also marked 85 years of the Reds' matchday squad featuring at least one Academy graduate for every match – a record which we are extremely proud of.

Of course, this followed the tremendous achievement of our Under-18s last term, who lifted our record-extending 11th FA Youth Cup. Several of the Academy players involved in that triumphant team, such as Alejandro Garnacho, Kobbie Mainoo and Tyler Fredricson have been involved in the first-team squad this season, under the tutelage of Erik ten Hag – a manager who, like our club, is dedicated to youth development.

In the EPPP, an academy’s productivity is represented by a club score, according to the number and quality of first-team appearances their academy graduates have made. For the past decade, United has ranked top in the country for this metric.

Since the start of 2012, there have been 46 first-team debuts for the club, while the number of matches involving Academy graduates currently stands at more than 4,150.

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Manchester United's Head of Academy, Nick Cox, is proud of the impact the club has had on future generations.

He said: "To be officially recognised as the most productive academy since the inception of EPPP means a great deal to all of the staff here, as we continue a legacy of youth development that has thrived here throughout the last 85 years. 

"The last 10 years has seen the Academy go from strength to strength. Our youth development system has changed a great deal during this period, modernising and adapting, while remaining true to our historic principles that have enabled this institution to build an unrivalled record of developing players for the first team.

"The EPPP programme has played an important role in the last decade of this process and we are grateful for the support and platform that the system and Premier League has given to youth developers across the country.

"We welcome the beginning of a new era for EPPP, with a renewed focus on enriching the lives of the young boys within our care. These values are very much akin to our philosophy, and we are delighted to have played a role in shaping the next stage of the programme, which we know will continue to benefit children across the country."

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