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EBFA Next Meeting- AGM

16-Jul-24 Garth Hill College, Bull Lane,  Bracknell, RG42 2AD 7:30pm



EBFA Policy - Academies and Centres of Excellence

Date Notice

Policy - Academies and Centres of Excellence

The purpose of this paper is to produce a Youth Football Factsheet on Academies and Centres of Excellence for youth football.  Professional football clubs youth development departments are either run as Academies (under the overall control of FA Premier League) or Centre of Excellence (organised by the Football League).  The rules governing both are very similar. All FA Premier League Clubs are encouraged to operate a Football Academy. Clubs operating a Football Academy may not operate a Centre of Excellence. 

Scout qualifications

·      There is a FA Charter for Talent Identification and Development which includes training for scouts

·      All scouts registered with clubs should attend the training

·      A scout’s identity can be verified via the Head of Youth recruitment at the professional club

Scout conduct at matches

1.  The scout must introduce himself to the manager / coach

2.  He/She must be of smart appearance and be able to provide proof of the club they represents

3.   If the scout is interested in a player s/he can only take matters forward if the player is not registered with another academy or centre of excellence

4.   If neither of the parents is present the scout can give his/her card to the manager/coach who will then pass it on so that the parent can telephone the scout

5.   The scout is not allowed to speak directly to the player without the parent being present

6.  The scout cannot guarantee the player a trial.  This invitation must come from the Head of Youth Recruitment

7.  The manager/coach can be reported to the FA if they refuse to speak to the scout

Trails and Contracts

1.    The professional club will provide 7 day notice of approach to the Sunday/Saturday club

2.    The player will be taken on a trial period of up to six weeks

3.    A trial form and disclaimer / medical form will be signed by the player

4.    If the trial is successful, an Under 12 player can be signed for 1 year and an Over 12 for two years

5.    For a player to be released by the professional club he must be de-registered

Coaching Requirements

Under 9 – Under 11           3 hours (divided into 2 sessions) per week

Under 12 – Under 16         5 hours (divided into 3 sessions) per week

Games Programme

Under 9 – Under 11           Minimum 24

                                             Maximum 30 (all small sided)

Under 12 – Under 16         Minimum 24

                                             Maximum 30

·     Players registered with an academy can only play in authorised games organised by the academy

·     A Centre of Excellence manager may permit a registered player to play games in local youth leagues and to participate in professional clubs’ community football academies if sufficient games have been organised.

·     Football academies cannot affiliate to any other youth leagues

Release Procedures

·     When a player is released from his contract his details are circulated to other clubs

·     The Football League organises exit trials for boys released from Academies at Under 16 level

Satellite Centres

·       These operate under identical conditions to Academies and Centres of Excellence.

Development Centres

·      A club cannot operate a Development Centre more than one hour’s travelling distance from its main centre

·      No registered players are allowed at Development Centres

·      A team representing a Development Centre cannot play against a team representing the Development Centre of another club

·      Development Centres cannot forbid a player from representing his Saturday / Sunday club

·      The FA Premier League is planning to monitor Development Centres based on :

o       Registration

o       Facilities

o       Insurance

o       Child protection

o       Medical issues


Should be made directly to FA Premier League (Academies) or Football League (Centres of Excellence) providing the necessary


 Summary of Playing in EBFA

·      Players registered with an academy cannot play EBFA authorised games.

·      A Centre of Excellence manager may permit a registered player to play games in EBFA if they are registered with EBFA.

·      Football academies and centre of excellence teams cannot join EBFA.

·      Clubs registering and/or playing ineligible players with the league will be dealt with under Rule 8(r).

 Further References

      The FA Programme for Excellence - Link

      Academies – Ascot United’s view - Link

Ian Nile - EBFA – Chairman - 09-Dec-07