Port Vale youth team manager Mick Ede has told the Sentinel newspaper that the club has made an application to the Football League for the club to be awarded Academy status.
Ede told the newspaper: “It could be a massive thing for us, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.”
If the club are awarded Academy status then it could mean increased funding to develop the club’s junior ranks, build new facilities and increase staffing.
The following information about Academies was published on the BBC Sport website.
What exactly is an Academy?
Academies are special training schemes set up by clubs to help them develop young players. All Premiership clubs have them. Other League clubs run either Academies or Centres of Excellence, which are run along the same lines. Many non-league clubs also run their own development schemes or community projects.
What ages does an Academy take on?
A player must be at least nine years old to join an Academy, but many clubs – such as Arsenal – have development groups which cater for even younger players.
Does it matter where the players live?
Yes. Strict new rules have been brought in to prevent clubs signing young players who live outside their catchment area. Under 12’s must live within an hour’s travelling distance from the club, or 90 minutes for players aged 13-16.
What happens at an Academy?
At the Crystal Palace Academy, youngsters train three times a week – one and a half hours on Tuesday evenings and Thursday evenings and an hour on Saturday mornings.
On Sundays, they play matches against other Academy teams. That could mean up to 28 games a season. At Under-9s, 10s and 11s, the matches are eight-a-side, moving up to regular 11-a-side numbers after that.
Players are given practical homework such as training drills they can practice at home. Their parents are also given advice on things like nutrition and mental preparation.