The Academy is now home to 173 players aged from the U9 to U18 age groups, of which 61% are from Greater Manchester. The focus on local recruitment was visible in the U18 FA Youth Cup Final, with nine of the 11 starting squad hailing from Manchester.
66 boys and girls attended St Bede’s School, and this season the U16 boys became the first cohort to complete five full years in the St Bede’s school programme. As a year-group they achieved a GCSE pass rate that was 7.1 percentage points above the national average, and were unbeaten all season, scoring more than 100 goals. The overall GCSE pass rate was 74%.
30 members of the men’s and women’s youth system attended the Connell Sixth Form College, achieving an impressive 100% pass rate in A-Levels and BTEC Sport qualifications.
In May 2016, a five-year partnership was announced with NAC Brede that will see five Academy players loaned to the Dutch side each season, designed to bridge the gap between Academy and First Team football by offering senior level experience at a young age.
City became the first Premier League football club to be licensed to run the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) programme last season, and now boasts 15 players with Silver DofE awards and 16 more working towards Bronze and Silver Awards. In recognition of this achievement, HRH The Earl of Wessex visited the City Football Academy to witness the programme first hand.
In order to achieve a DofE Award, players complete a combination of activities spanning volunteering, skills, physical development and the all-important expedition. As part of the volunteering section, Academy players worked with the Club’s ‘City in the Community’ programme to deliver coaching sessions to local children at the City Football Academy.
This is just one element of the Academy’s ‘multi-skills lifestyle’ curriculum, which helps players receive a rounded education. Each week, players take part in different sports and learn practical life skills to better prepare them for adult life. As part of this programme, the U18 team played a match against City in the Community’s amputee team in August 2015.