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Academy to expand globally

The major success story of the past decade at the club has undoubtedly been the emergence of the Academy, and the procession of players brought through to senior leve, which shows no sign of abating.

The club today announced plans to expand the Academy on a global scale, with an initial Academy in Abu Dhabi, followed by a venture into America. I posted back in 2006 about the seeming lack of vision that the club had in terms of scouting at the time but it does appear that the club have changed philosophy and we have already seen a handful of additions of younger players from Europe - something that all succesful sides have done for some time.

Possibly the most positive aspect of this is that Jim Cassell, the architect of the success of the Academy will oversee the initiative rather than being ushered aside by a new arrival. The Academy has more than paid for itself since being set up in its current guise and if this success can be replicated on a wider scale, it is a clearly a win-win situation.