Albion’s academy player recruitment manager, Mark Anderson, believes that securing Category One status in the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan, combined with the new American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, will help the club attract the best young talent moving forward.
Mark, who arrived at the Albion just over two years ago with an impressive career track record, having taken Raheem Sterling to Liverpool, heads up the recruitment of players from the under-21s all the way down to the under-14 age group.
“We like to recruit within our own areas, but the new academy status has enabled us to branch out and look further afield for players,” he told Seagull, the club’s matchday magazine.
“Once we get players in the door, we don’t seem to lose them now. The message that’s getting out to the players at the bigger clubs is that they do have a pathway here, plus we have some outstanding facilities.
“The education support that we offer the players here is the also the best in the country. Players are choosing Brighton because we’re Premier League ready off the pitch and we’re getting ready for it on the field now too.”
Albion’s recent record of recruitment is impressive, with the likes of Rohan Ince, Christian Walton and Vitalijs Maksimenko all experiencing first-team football.
“The best part is seeing players move up into the first-team, ensuring there’s a pathway for our younger players.
“We’ve brought in players like Ince, Maksimenko, Jeffrey Monakana, Jesse Starkey, Tom Dallison and Christian Walton. Most recently we identified the lads from Chelsea, George Cole and Danny Pappoe."
He added, “We’re recruiting players which we believe have got a chance. In such a short space of time we’ve gone from being a centre of excellence to a category two and then a category one academy, which is a great achievement.
“A lot of hard work has gone into that and it’s been a big plus for us to move to the new training ground.”
To read more from Mark, purchase the Bolton Wanderers issue of Seagull, available from the Amex Superstore and online,priced £3.50.