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Lampard: Academies are producing technically better players

29 Nov 2022
CC

Everton manager looks back on 10 years of the PL's Elite Player Performance Plan

During managerial spells at Derby County, Chelsea and now Everton, Frank Lampard has forged a reputation for giving opportunities to young talent.

The likes of Mason Mount, Anthony Gordon, Marc Guehi and Reece James have all shone under Lampard's guidance and the Everton manager believes the work of the Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) has played a pivotal role in helping those players become top-flight regulars.

See: Key facts about the impact of the EPPP

"The players now are much more technically well-trained in the academy years than in my day for sure," Lampard says.

"The way they work on, not just on an individual skill level I think that is probably higher, but in terms of how they're ready to fit into certain team structures at a young age.

"And what's required of you as a centre-back, which in the old days would be defend and head the ball, and nowadays it's receive the ball, play through the lines, step into midfield. That's just producing players of a higher talent at a young age."

Mason Mount and Reece James

The EPPP is celebrating its 10th anniversary, having been introduced in the 2012/13 season with the aim of developing a world-leading Academy system that produces more and better homegrown players.

Not only does the EPPP work to develop players on the pitch, there is also an important educational element to the programme, with it providing players with the skills and resources to become well-rounded young men.

Duty of care

"The academies, in a positive way, have become more in tune with the type of player and person that you want to develop into the first team," Lampard adds.

"What's important to mention is the educational side and the duty of care that clubs have to develop young men in our system that have fallbacks if football doesn't become their career.

"That system has much improved in the last 10 years."

Also in this series

Part 1: EPPP report highlights decade of progress in youth development
Part 2: Key facts about the impact of the EPPP
Part 3: England World Cup squad built on Academies' work
Part 4: Cooper: We are seeing the fruits of Academy investment
Part 6: Creating access and opportunity for all
Part 7: Helping Academy players reach their potential
Part 8: Taking care of Academy players
Part 9: Creating a world-leading Academy workforce
Part 10: Saunders: We can be proud of youth development progress

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