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Academy blog

Nigel Doughty Academy is situated on Wilford Lane, just a few minutes from City Ground and present facilities posthumously named for and were funded by late owner. Share site with first team training and incorporate pitches - grass and artificial, in-door, gym, medical department, video suite, classrooms, kitchen/canteen and so on.
English football association rules place clubs academies in category system dependant on not only quality of those physical facilities but other factors such as number and qualifications of coaches and general educational considerations
NFFC are Cat 2 academy. Investment to upgrade to Cat 1 estimated at £1 million per annum and Al Hasawi's not yet shown willingness to achieve that standard.
Majority of age group games e.g. Under 16, 18,21 home matches played there (public welcome if anyone ever in Nottingham and want to visit when playing) with a few select at City Ground. New facility for younger, school age groups and NFFC in the community charity just opened at Forest Recreation Ground (clubs original home) near city centre and also site of annual Goose Fair).
As a Cat 2 academy, club is restricted to league fixtures against other non elite sides with similar status and even when win various age group league titles cannot achieve promotion to top league strata where most Premier league academy teams feature, without Cat 1 investment and status. Most significant downsides resulting are lack of opportunity to test against best age group teams in England (see F A Youth club paragraph next) and also likelihood that if individual is offered a choice of clubs to sign for will pick higher grade with better wages, coaches, facilities, prestige and so forth.
F A Youth cup pools all accredited academy teams at Under 18 age group and runs an open knock out format, like F A Cup itself, whereby can draw any team remaining at any stage for home or away fixture.
NFFC current campaign commences on 10 December with home tie versus Brighton & H A 19.00 GMT kick off at City Ground.
In recent years our academy have been amongst most successful in this competition with runs to semi final and quarter final before encountering elite academies from Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City.
Patrick Bamford had a very successful campaign in this competition resulting in sale to Chelsea for reported £1 million, before debuted for first team. Other prominent performers in recent years include: Jenas, Dawson, Reid, Lascelles, Osborn, Walker, Burke, Grant.

5 to watch for in next batch:
Ben Brereton - released by Stoke City and signed for us last summer. Striker already netted 18 times in four months with us at Under 18 level. Powerful and focal point of attacks with clinical finishing.
Tom Gamblen- represented Under 18's when was only 14 years of age, left footed midfield. Versatile, clever, brave.
Ryan Yates - Midfield with eye for goal. Strong, confident, energetic.
Kieran Hayes - links midfield to attack. Good foil for Brereton.
Virgil Gomis - French striker or wide man. Scorer of extraordinary goals, search youtube!

Strong group all round currently 9 points clear top in league competition, more free flowing and attacking football with end result than any academy team I can recall. Coached by Jack Lester ex NFFC striker . Interesting to see if can surpass previous groups achievements in this years Cup. Will update after Brighton game. Any questions or comments please just ask, or view Twitter NFFCacademy page.

Andrew Pettinger, 1. 12. 2015

 

 

 



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