Academy of Light made EPPP Category One
Sunderland's Academy of Light has been awarded EPPP Category One status this afternoon, it has been announced.
The 'Elite Player Performance Plan' is the Premier League scheme designed to increase the number of home-grown players who break through into professional sides in England.
And, after extensive independent consultation, Sunderland have today announced that they are one of 12 English league clubs to have been awarded their classification.
Owing to the amount of money ploughed into the Academy of Light and the excellent level of coaching and facilities available to academy players, Sunderland have been awarded the highest classification.
The Category One classification means that Sunderland's young prospects will be slightly better protected against bigger clubs looking to poach their youngsters.
Category One status also means that should any young Black Cats defect to other sides, Sunderland will receive a bigger fee than clubs whose academies are not in the first category of EPPP.
Speaking to safc.com, academy manager Ged McNamee said:
'The awarding of Category One status is testament to the professionalism, hard work, dedication and commitment of everyone involved in the academy operation at Sunderland.'
'This cements our reputation for youth development and will hopefully enhance our ability to attract the best calibre of young players to the club.'
Good news for the future of SAFC, congratulations to all the club's academy staff!