Ipswich Town named as one of top three Category 2 academies in the country

Academy boss Lee O'Neill

Academy boss Lee O'Neill - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town have been named as one of the top three academies at Category 2 level in the country.

The Blues were also one of only two ELF clubs in the Elite Player Performance Plan 2017 audit to be handed a full three year licence to operate without core recommendations to put in place, with no audit necessary until 2020.

“We are really pleased obviously with the results,” academy manager Lee O’Neill told the club website, with Town one of 21 clubs audited at Category 2 level.

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“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes in all departments across the academy. We have all worked extremely hard to make sure that our programme is in line with what is expected at this standard but in a lot of areas we are above the level required.

“A number of departments were ranked number one in the Category 2 clubs. We were top for sports science and medicine, top for operations and recruitment and our coaching programme was ranked second.

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“Staff have gone above and beyond to deliver a programme that is as good as it can possibly be.

“Nothing has changed with our aim to get to Category 1 at some stage but we feel that we have a programme that is offering a clear pathway for younger players to progress through the Academy into the first-team.”

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Four teenage academy graduates have appeared for Town already this season - Andre Dozzell, Flynn Downes, Tristan Nydam and Luke Woolfenden, while Myles Kenlock, 20, has made 24 appearances for the club.