City granted academy status

Last updated : 20 January 2004 By Michael Morris
Cardiff City have today confirmed they have achieved academy status.

Now the younger age groups of City squads will be playing with the best teams in the UK.

It's superb news for City and well done to Centre of Excellence manager Matthew Crocker who told the official website

"It is fantastic news and it will be a major boost for the club."

Reports last week suggested the club could be investing around £1m a year.

When it seemed likely the decision would be in Cardiff City's favour Sam Hammam said

"This is fantastic news. It is more important then even how the team is faring in Division One - and second only to our new stadium.

"The Academy and stadium are the key factors to Cardiff City's hopes of having a future at the top level of football in Britain and Europe.

"Without them we don't have a hope and I am delighted it seems we have succeeded with our Academy application.

"Supporters may not grasp the importance of this move, but the future success of Cardiff City means we have to produce our own young players capable of competing alongside the best.

"We are seriously looking at talented players aged 18, 19 and 20 now, but they are not from within our own ranks.

"The budget for our youth team will in the future be bigger than the amount spent on many first teams in Division Three. It is certainly comparable to what Cardiff City were paying for their first team before I came to the club."