Youth

Elite Player Performance Plan

By 1 Jul 2019
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Long-term strategy designed to advance Premier League Youth Development

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Youth: Elite Performance

The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) is a long-term strategy with the aim of developing more and better homegrown players.

The EPPP is the result of consultation between the Premier League and its clubs, representatives of the Football League, the Football Association and other key football stakeholders.

Introduced in 2012 with the mission of producing more and better homegrown players, the plan promotes the empowerment of each individual player through a player-led approach.

The EPPP works across three phases: Foundation (Under-9 to Under-11), Youth Development (U12 to U16) and Professional Development (U17 to U23).

The Premier League Football Development Department work for, with and on behalf of our clubs to deliver a world-class youth development system via the delivery of four key functions:

Games Programme

The Premier League provided up to 10,000 matches, as well as delivering 212 festivals and tournaments, to clubs across all age groups.

Premier League 2, Professional Development League 2, Premier League Cup and Premier League International Cup, and the Under-18 Premier League and Under-18 Professional Development League 2 help to bridge the gap from youth football to the rigours of senior competitions on the international and domestic stage.

A range of other festivals and tournaments from Under-9s and above are also operated by the League. 

Education

The Premier League aims to provide world-class education via inspirational and innovative teaching, which develops educationally rounded people through the delivery of a holistic approach.

The League has its own Education Department that delivers a programme to support the technical, tactical, physical, mental, lifestyle and welfare development of all Academy players.

The Premier League is also responsible for the formal education programmes for all Apprentices aged 16-19 who have signed a full-time Scholarship Agreement at a PL Club.

Coaching

The Premier League launched its Elite Coaching Plan (ECP) in 2020 with an aim to improve pathways for coaches and to create a world-leading coaching development system in Academies and at first-team level across the English professional game.

The ECP supports the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), whose objective is to produce more and better home-grown players by further developing Academy coaching, as well as producing the highest-quality coaching at all levels of a player’s pathway, including the first team.

The EPPP also aims to produce home-developed coaches on a regular basis for the professional game and the England national team. 

The League's vision of a world-leading coaching development system will be achieved by elevating the quality of coaching across the English system. This will lead to a positive change in the global perception of our coaching at Academy and at first-team level.

Elite Performance

Always striving to find innovative and effective ways to enhance the production or more and better home-grown players, the Premier League have implemented a range of programmes to aid and inform player recruitment, development and transition through Foundation, Youth Development and Professional Development phases.

Clubs can not only track all information that is relevant to the Academy through the League’s Performance Management Application (PMA) and Injury Surveillance, but they also benefit from the help of Club Support Managers (CSMs), with each one the first point of contact and support to their assigned Club’s Academy.

The League has also launched the Bio-Banding programme, with a series of tournaments organised each season with the aim of matching players based on their biological age instead of the usual chronological age groups, which historically makes it tougher for players born in the latter stages of the British school year (September to August) to make the grade. Growth and Maturation Screening is also used to assess all Academy players’ biological growth.

Categorisation

Academies are independently audited and given a Category status of 1 to 4, with 1 being the most elite. Up to 10 different factors will be considered in the grading, including productivity rates; training facilities; and coaching, education and welfare provisions.

The higher a club's Category the more funding will be available to it and the EPPP will see the Premier League and FA invest more central income than ever before in Youth Development programmes across the country.

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