Blues Academy ranked EFL's number one

Blues Academy ranked EFL's number one

Blues' Academy has been ranked number one in the EFL Academy productivity rankings.

Blues' Academy has been ranked number one in the EFL Academy productivity rankings.

The Club placed in first position in the latest EFL three-season assessment - between 2018/19 and 2021/22 - being deemed the most productive of the Football League's 72 teams.

Such a measurement includes all player production, including those that are now playing elsewhere, highlighting the strong pathway from Wast Hills Training Ground to senior football. This could be highlighted in multiple examples, including Ryan Stirk's loan to Mansfield Town last term and Kyle Hurst's recent transfer to Doncaster Rovers.

This data is calculated by using a point scoring system for each player who has graduated through a football club's academy and gone on to make senior appearances for either that club or another senior outfit.

Also included in this metric are those in what are determined as Europe's top four leagues (France, Germany, Italy and Spain).

Furthermore, this brings Birmingham City's 12-year EFL average to an impressive sixth place, highlighting the tremendous work undertaken by everybody associated with the Academy and the graduating players, including Jude Bellingham, Demarai Gray and Nathan Redmond.

James Brayne, Head of Coaching Under-13s to Under-23s, spoke to BCFC.com about the recent report.

"It is a massive achievement for both past and current players, staff and parents. It is a reflection of all the hard work that has gone in over the years and to this point.

"The biggest pride that the Academy and the Football Club can take from this is that we have boys playing across a variety of leagues. We have players playing at international level, across the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two and within the Bundesliga.

"Yes we want to produce players for our First Team as that is our purpose as an academy, but if the level of the players is international, Premier League or below the level of the Championship, then that is where they will go to get a career within the game.

"There is a pathway here and everybody working at the Club recognises and embraces this. The pathway has been here for a consistent period of time, as we can see through the whole report and this is something clear for everyone to see.

"People can see that as recently as this week when you have got Alfie Chang, Jobe Bellingham and Josh Williams all making their full First Team debuts against Norwich and with Jordan James starting the first two league games. Our challenge now as a football club and as staff, is to continue with this and to help as many players as possible achieve their dream."

Danetta Powell, Academy Operations Manager, also added her satisfaction with the report.

"Every time an Academy graduate debuts, the entire team are bursting with pride. We have operated a successful programme for many years and to be presented with data which places us first for productivity is an incredible achievement and a great source of encouragement for our staff. 

"We are an Academy that is consistently producing homegrown talent for the professional game and the commitment from our multi-disciplinary team, our families and stakeholders is unwavering. I am confident that the hard work and determination of everyone here will see us ranking highly in productivity reports in the coming years."

As well as excelling in the EFL's rankings, Blues still rank sixth when the productivity of the 20 Premier League outfits is also factored in.

Meanwhile, an average starting age of 24-years-old and just 18 for the midfield trio versus Norwich City, already highlights that such productivity is set to continue.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the Academy!