Yeovil Town have announced their decision to withdraw from the Football League’s Youth Development Scheme with effect from next season.
The scheme has proven to be too prescriptive and extremely expensive and has seriously affected the Club’s ability to continue with a Youth Development programme.
It has been an agonising decision. It had been hoped that an U18 scholarship programme would be more sustainable but the criteria the Club is expected to meet is expensive, excessively bureaucratic and requires more resources than can be reasonably provided at this time.
It is extremely disappointing to be in this position but this action has been taken in the interests of the Club’s overall viability.
Manager Gary Johnson said “The Club has worked hard to make the youth programme work but it has not been able to produce any players for the first team squad in recent years. It is harder for local lads to progress to that level now we are in League 1 and looking to compete at the upper end of that division.
“Substantial additional investment would be required to make the youth development programme effective and the funding just simply isn’t available at the moment. I have therefore advised the Board to focus the recruitment resources we do have on 18-21 year olds that have not been given the opportunity of 1st team football at Premier League and Championship clubs.”
Despite having to close the Academy, the Club remains committed to encouraging youngsters to play and improve their football skills. Coaching will therefore continue at schools in the area and through the Advanced Development Centres managed by the Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust.