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Mick Leonard: A Big Achievement

5 February 2014

Academy manager Mick Leonard has thanked everyone associated with the Notts County Academy for playing a role in helping the club to achieve Category Three status.

Had the club not reached the standards required of a Category Three Academy, support provided by funding partners would have been reduced, which would have affected the high standards currently delivered by the Magpies’ youth setup.

At all age groups, coaches and staff, both football and non-football, have ensured that the Academy has reached the desired levels set by the Elite Player Performance Plan over the past year-and-a-half. 

A four-day audit, carried out by Foot PASS on behalf of the Premier League and the Professional Game Board, across all areas of the Academy produced excellent results. 

Leonard was delighted with the news, which will allow the club to continue its progress in the development of future talent.

He said: “A lot of hard work has gone in over the 18 months to get the Category Three, which allows us to progress from where we’ve from where we’ve got the Academy since it restarted in 2008.

“From where we came from five or six years ago, I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved here in such a short space of time and the level of delivery that the programme puts out as well.

“I felt a lot of clubs were opposed to the EPPP at meetings but I embraced it because it if raises the bar and the level that we all operate, I was all for that. 

“I was always confident that we run a good programme here with the resources that we’ve got to work with.

“It’s still a young programme in its sixth year of the 9s-16s programme but it is a long-term plan to produce excellent players for the club in years to come. 

“It was vital that we did secure that Category Three to continue at the level that we are with the financial backing of the league.

“I’ve got to say, the club do put a significant amount in and the board to a great job in adding additional contributions to keep the programme going. 

“I’m 100 per cent confident in years to come that the club will be repaid in terms of talent going into the first team, which we’re starting to see already with one or two really knocking on the door.”

Look out for more coverage on the Academy’s success on Magpie Player soon. 

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