LCFC Training Ground show pitch

Leicester City Academy Awarded Category One Status

Leicester City’s Academy has been praised for its methods of development and track record of producing professional players after being awarded Category One status by the Premier League - the highest category possible for academies in this country.

- Leicester City Academy retain Category One status
- The Club’s Academy is among one of the best in the country  
- A number of players have graduated to the First Team in recent years

The assessment for Category One status found that the Football Club’s Academy ‘have areas of very good practice within coaching and pathway provision and a good productivity of producing players for the professional game’.

Years of hard work and commitment within the Club’s Academy has seen several established internationals come through the ranks, all having helped the Club win titles at various youth levels along the way.

That pathway to the First Team continues and is now stronger than ever thanks to the Premier League’s assessment that the Academy retain its Category One status for a further three seasons.

Leicester City’s supporters are familiar now with local talents coming through the ranks and progressing into our First Team, as they have done on many occasions in recent years. Continuing as a Category One Academy puts us in the best possible position to continue that legacy for the future.

Susan Whelan Leicester City Chief Executive

Based at LCFC’s state-of-the-art training facility in North Leicestershire, the Academy is committed in its endeavour to identify talented young footballers and to provide quality coaching, combined with a relevant education package in order to produce players of integrity with the ability to play professional football at Premier League and English Football League level. 

In recent seasons, the likes of Harvey Barnes, Hamza Choudhury, Luke Thomas and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall have all graduated from the Academy, and together have made over 200 appearances in all competitions for City’s First Team, with Barnes earning his first senior England cap in October 2020. 

Leicester City Chief Executive Susan Whelan said: “Leicester City’s Academy has a long and proud tradition of producing fantastic talents for the professional game and it’s a huge credit to the staff within the Academy that their hard work and excellence has been recognised with the retention of Category One status.

“It rightly maintains Leicester City’s Academy in an elite bracket, which aligns with our vision for the Football Club and further enhances the opportunities we can offer to young footballers in the city and the grassroots pathway. 

“Leicester City’s supporters are familiar now with local talents coming through the ranks and progressing into our First Team, as they have done on many occasions in recent years. Continuing as a Category One Academy puts us in the best possible position to continue that legacy for the future.”

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LCFC Training Ground show pitch
LCFC Training Ground show pitch

Leicester City's Under-23s and Under-18s play on the show pitch at LCFC Training Ground.

Through its player-centred focus and the implementation of its ‘Committed to Excellence’ technical programme, the Academy is fully dedicated to providing a top-quality experience for its players, aged between 8 and 21, in order to provide the best chance of eventually making the First Team at Leicester City.

Furthermore, the Academy provides a substantial education programme for all players, in line with the requirements of the EPPP, and LCFC recognises that education plays an important role in player development, with the Club praised by the Premier League for their positive learning environment. 

The Academy was also praised for its strong emphasis on player wellbeing, with its innovative football programme, which is designed to support players along their pathway, highlighted as an example of good practice. 

Category One status is awarded to only a small number of elite academies in the country and is difficult to attain, with quality of coaching, education, facilities and strategic development all required to be at the highest level.

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