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ENGLISH ACADEMY SYSTEM

Academies have been set up by all Premier League and some lower division clubs in England. This aims to improve the youth development infrastructure to match the likes of France and Portugal whose achievements on the international stage have followed. This will not be immediate and will take 8-10 years before effects will flow onto national teams. Academies are mandatory for Premier League clubs and clubs which do not have academies in lower divisions have Centres of Excellence. Players at academies are allowed a maximum 30 games a year with no 11-a-side until 12. Some like Liverpool start specialist coaching at the age of 8 with games against other academies. The academies are different sizes with the largest including Liverpool and the smallest including Reading which was upgraded from a Centre of Excellence in 1999.

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