City set for academy status

Last updated : 14 January 2004 By Michael Morris
Cardiff City's efforts to achieve academy status are set to be rewarded on Jan 20th.

Both the FA and PFA have approved City's application and now the final step is for the FA's Technical Control Board to say yes and they won't go against the recommendations made to them.

Sam Hammam is said to have spent more than £1m preparing for this and he is delighted his youth teams will be able to pit themselves against Premiership opposition on a regular basis.

"This is fantastic news," Sam Hammam told the Echo. "It is more important than 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."