Huddersfield Town announce academy overhaul

Huddersfield Town announce that they are overhauling their academy system, phasing out all youth sides from the Under-16 age group within the next month.

Huddersfield Town have confirmed that there will be an overhaul of their academy system which will phase out all youth sides from the Under-16 age group within the next month.

The news comes after reports that the Terriers were preparing to scrap their entire youth setup following the departure of academy manager Steve Weaver without a replacement being brought in.

Following a board-led review of the academy, Huddersfield have decided to change their academy status from the current Category 2 status to Category 4 of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

The move to Category 4 of the EPPP means that the club will no longer be able to recruit players under the age of 16 and as a result they will be scrapping all youth players from seven age groups.

"Since my first year as chairman in 2009, we have taken great pride in always doing things our own way," Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle told the official website. "The need to find ways of being competitive is more pertinent than ever following the club's promotion to the Premier League. We must find ways of being competitive against our peers.

"Huddersfield Town fully committed to the new EPPP rules introduced by the Premier League in October 2011, investing large sums of money to establish Category 2 status. The climate has proven difficult for this club considering EPPP rules and the number of big clubs on our doorstep, which offers strong competition for the best local players with Category 1 sides.

"Our academy system must provide a strong and obvious pathway to the first team for players who are good enough, whilst also representing value for the club. Upon review, this is not something that we could claim.

"This decision has been the biggest we have undertaken in my time as chairman, and not an easy one. However, we cannot be afraid of change. This is a vital area to the long-term success of this club and we must make every effort to get this right."

Huddersfield have informed the academy staff and parents of the youth team players who will be affected by the transition and they are working hard to offer them the necessary support.

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