The latest information on EPPP
by Jason Blake, Academy Manager
Although an official Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) audit is not scheduled until next season, the club is continuing to develop the operation under the criteria of the ‘Audit Tool’ software issued to each club by the Premier League.
The ‘Audit Tool’ software is used to highlight each of the required criteria in twelve areas of the Academy department.
Discussions are currently taking place between the Academy Manager and the first team technical staff to formulate a ‘Club Football Philosophy’, of which an Academy strategy is incorporated. It is this Academy ‘DNA’ that must be evident is all actions taken by Academy staff and players. This is the target of the EPPP rules and regulations, stipulating a consistency of ‘good practice’ in all areas of the Academy.
There are over two hundred criteria that the Audit process uses to assess each individual Academy when applying for an Academy category status. Key areas of this assessment include staff behaviours, continual evidence of practice, the cohesion of planning between three phases of the Academy programme and multi-disciplinary development in the physical, psychological, tactical and technical sections.
The three age specific phases of the Academy
• Foundation Phase (U5-11 Age Groups)
• Youth Development Phase (U12-16 Age Groups)
• Professional Youth Development Phase (U17-21 Age Groups)
All Academy coaches are required to plan, deliver and evaluate every session in accordance to the Academy Football Philosophy. Each session must provide a focus on specific learning targets and outcomes for each individual player in the group across the multi-disciplinary sections. These targets are also assessed on match day when each team follows football specific principles stated within the Academy Philosophy.
The Academy must now be able to provide evidence of a player’s complete history of training sessions including data highlighting the four multi-disciplinary sections, match game time, individual target setting and periodical performance reviews.
This is achieved in a process called the ‘Player Performance Clock’. Although the EPPP is enforcing these practices, these activities all contribute to the demand on high standards of ‘good practice’ that focuses on the individual development of every player in the Academy.
This Audit process is very stringent and the Academy will be assessed on these values and principles being demonstrated through our daily actions and behaviours.
The Elite Player Performance Plan is a process that will change the mentality of Youth Development in England through the raising of standards and issuing accountability to each member of staff, multi-disciplinary section and Academy in England.