The old RTB Landore Steelworks Sports Ground, adjacent to the new Indoor Bowling Centre had a reputation in the 1970’s and 1980’s as having the finest playing surface in the city boundaries, for football, or for cricket. 2 football pitches(the nearest to the social club sometimes used as a rugby pitch), a cricket square( used by Landore in the South Wales cricket league) and a full sized football pitch which in years gone by had been used by Landore, Cwmfelin Press and North End football clubs in the Swansea Senior League.
From what I am led to believe, both the Youth and Community Departments of Swansea City Football Club would be looking to use the facilities when developed and a proposed new training ground, still to be officially decided on, would be utilised by the football club’s senior footballers.
At the moment, as can be seen from the photos, the social club has been demolished and a large are of scrubland adjacent to the football pitch is being developed to integrate with the existing sporting area. Last year Swansea City Football Club after unveiling their plans to develop the area proposed that they would be looking to achieve Category 2 status and based at RTB on completion of the re-development.
Background to the new Elite Player Performance Plan
The new Elite Player Performance Plan(EPPP)) rules have created a new system of Academy accreditation and the current 2 tier system of Academies and Centres of Excellence will be replaced with a 4 tier system of Academies that will be ranging from Category 1 to Category 4.
Category 1 holding the highest level of accreditation. The most publicised impact of the EPPP is that those with the highest accreditation are able to recruit young players nationwide(a considerable change from the 90 minute ruling), and a fixed tariff compensation scheme is introduced to cover those situations where a youth player moves clubs.
Some clubs appear to naturally assume that existing Centres of Excellence will ordinarily fall into Category 3 and 4 status and that Academies will fall into Category 1 and 2 status. This is simply not the case. The rules set out stringent requirements covering all areas of a football Academy from educational standards to facilities and staffing levels, thus raising the bar dramatically in terms of what is now expected and regulated. Many clubs that aspire to Category 2 status will need to significantly upgrade their Academy offering in order to obtain this level, and many clubs will simply not be able to afford to do so.
Whilst grant support is available the rule set out minimum requirements of expenditure for each Category in order for the club to receive grant support. Category 1 being required to spend £2.35 M and Category 2 £960K. However it is now apparent that the costs of improving Academies up to the necessary standards is likely, in many cases, to cost clubs far in excess of the minimum. The facility and staffing requirements are proving to be more expensive than some clubs seem to have anticipated, both to gain the desired Category status and to then maintain it(status being reviewed each 2 years).
The scheme, which was voted through by the Premier League and Football League last October, is designed to radically improve the standard of young players in the country and will guarantee funding for youth football over the next four years.