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Watford Academy to be downgraded

This evening it has emerged that Watford will apply to downgrade their academy from Category 1 status to Category 3. Watford did have one of the best and most unique academy setups in the country using the Harefield Academy as a joint school and football academy.

With the new EPPP [Elite Player Performance Plan] system coming into practice soon all clubs have had to battle to re grade their academies and move them in line with the new FA standards. Watford last season confirmed they were sure to be awarded Category 2 status and had hoped to be given the top Category 1 status, however now the club decision has been to move down and apply for Category 3.

In an interview on the Watford Observer website technical director Gianluca Nani said the management will continue to back the Hornets Academy. He stated 'Nothing will divert us from this focus, (improving the academy), but as a business we are choosing to pursue goals within sensible investment parameters'.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: chrisgwfc Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 14 2012

Time: 6:56PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I think we have to trust these guys as they do have a proven track record when it comes to recruitment, after all the academy is about producing talent and selling them on, instead of local youth, the club will be operating worldwide..time will tell.
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14/08/2012 20:25:00

Not sure this is a good idea.. Watford youth set up is the envy of the country... Hope we don't live to regret it...
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14/08/2012 20:56:00

We won't attract good British youngsters by doing this. Not confident that this is the right move. Perhaps a fuller explanation by the Pozzo's or Management team is needed to sell it to the fans.
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14/08/2012 23:44:00

Now that is another story, Explanation, Communication seems to be one thing they could do with learning. It is also becoming more and more apparant That Zola has no idea what players are coming in to the club.
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14/08/2012 23:56:00

Now I am worried. Its the Academy that has kept us where we are today. Had it not been for our young players stepping up to the mark and providing much needed funds when we sold them on surely we would be several leagues down by now and broke. Lets hope our new owners know what they are doing............
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15/08/2012 04:36:00

Excuse me but you are posting on my site..!!!
Logged in
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15/08/2012 08:58:00

I'm definitely more than a little apprehensive about this. I am well aware that it costs a fair whack to keep a Cat 1 academy Cat 1, and that there is no guarantee of producing top-class youngsters. HOWEVER, the Pozzo's are all about bringing players in on the cheap and then selling them at the peak of their value for a profit. Is this not the same thing? We have done it for years now - Barnes, James, Robinson, Smith, Bouazza, Sordell, Mariappa, Murray (?). I'm confident that the amount of money we have raised and will continue to raise in the future by running the best possible category of academy we can will make the cost of running one seem trivial. Of course, not going for Cat 1 status doesn't mean youngsters won't be coming through, but I think there will certainly be a diminished chance and any good ones will be poached more cheaply by big clubs. I'm not questioning the Pozzo's as they do know what they're doing, but I am very disappointed. I think we can certainly get used to seeing 5,6,7+ Udinese/Granada loanees every year until we outgrow those clubs, which could be a long time of course.
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15/08/2012 09:53:00

Dont understand posting on my site comment . If directed at me please explain.
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15/08/2012 13:50:00

Don't worry steelcity I think it's just a mistake somewhere.. Don't worry you are welcome to comment your thoughts.. Welcome to the site...
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15/08/2012 16:42:00

Indeed, not quite sure what's going on but welcome steelcityhornet & do post as frequently as you want. You'll always get debate on here!
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15/08/2012 17:30:00


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