The pathway from Crystal Palace’s Academy to first-team has always been a well-trodden path and this looks set to continue after last night’s announcement that Bromley Council had approved the club’s redevelopment plans for the site, which will help the club achieve its ultimate ambition of achieving Category 1 Academy status.
It’s the next exciting development in Palace’s growth, and the result of lots of behind the scenes work. Speaking to Palace TV after the news outside the borough’s Civic Centre, Chairman Steve Parish revealed: “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time, so we are absolutely ecstatic that Bromley have given us the go-ahead.”
With the club continuing to look for the next Wilfried Zahas, Nathaniel Clynes and Brandon Pierricks of south London – aided by the addition of 20 scouts for the new Academy site – Parish added: “This is an Academy we can all be proud of, right in the heartland of our catchment area.”
Importantly, the Academy further adds to the club’s focus on the players’ development as people and not just players, Parish said: “I think this will give an exceptional opportunity to the boys – not just in their footballing development but in their educational mentoring.” Read more about the full plans HERE.
The Chairman was mindful of the Covid-19 crisis gripping the nation, which may cause delays and complexities to the project, saying: “The primary concern is for everybody to be safe, and to follow the guidance. If that stops us from getting on with the building work, it does – but there are more important priorities at the moment. That accepted, we’ll crack on as soon as we can.”
Watch the full post-reaction interview with Steve Parish below.