Fleetwood Town announce academy investment including a Poolfoot dome
Fleetwood Town have announced plans to invest in their academy and upgrade their Poolfoot Farm training ground.
Town have formally lodged an application for the academy to move from category three to category two in time for the start of the 2021/22 season.
To help to this end, the club are submitting planning permission to the council for a £1m investment in Poolfoot for an indoor full size pitch, which the club claims will develop their training ground into 'one of the most advanced sporting facilities in the country.'
Fleetwood currently have 12 full time and 20 part time staff as a part of the academy structure but those numbers are expected to double thanks to the investment.
The category system for academies is a part of the Elite Player Performance Plan and is led by the Premier League to improve the quality and quantity of home grown players, it also allows for better funding for those clubs that make the initial investment to reach those higher levels.
The Cod Army currently operates a category 3 academy, running 10 teams from the Under-9 age group through to U23s.
Since estabilishing their academy in 2013, Town have had more than 600 match day squad appearances from products of their youth setup, with 300 of those being starts.
12 debutants in the last two season have been educated at Poolfoot prior to breaking into Joey Barton's first team.
Barton recently tipped Billy Crellin, Fleetwood-born and a former youth player, to have the potential to play for England, having already represented the Young Lions at U17-U20s levels.
The academy also incorporates a senior devlopement phase which has benifitted the club also recently, Ash Hunter and Jack Sowerby being the notable sucesses.