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Under-18 Premier League: Format explained

1 Jan 2021
Manchester City win the U18 Premier League title

Category One Academies compete in two regional divisions, with a national final determining the overall champion

The Under-18 Premier League replaced the Premier Academy League at the start of the 2012/13 season with the aim to enhance youth development and help transition players between the Academy and first team.

The 28-team league is split into North and South Groups, and the two regional division champions will play in a national final for the U18 Premier League title. The one-off tie will be held at a main stadium. 

The 2021/22 U18 Premier League will take place under the following criteria:

  • In total, 28 clubs compete, with each of the clubs having applied for Category One status. There are 18 clubs from the Premier League, nine from the Championship and one from League One.
  • The 28 clubs are split into two regional groups, the North Group and the South Group.
  • Clubs will play each opposing team in their regional group twice, home and away.
  • For the overall title, the North Group and South Group winners will play in a one-off national final at a main stadium.

Age requirement:

  • Clubs are not allowed to field any outfield players outside the Under-18 age category. However, the goalkeeper is permitted to come from the Under-19 age category.
Past Under-18 Premier League winners

2020/21: Manchester City
2019/20: N/A*
2018/19: Derby County
2017/18: Chelsea
2016/17: Chelsea
2015/16: Manchester City
2014/15: Middlesbrough
2013/14: Everton
2012/13: Fulham
*National final did not finish due to curtailment of season

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