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Youth Development Week 2024

18 March 2024


Youth Development Week 2024

18 March 2024

Running from 18-24 March, the EFL’s Youth Development Week launches today with latest figures showing that EFL academy-developed players have made over 3,000 appearances across the Championship, League One and League Two so far this season.

From producing players for their own first team, providing opportunities for the best young talent from the Premier League to helping England and their age group sides to prosper, the latest statistics highlight the crucial role being played by EFL Clubs in creating the next generation of players.

In total, those players have made 3,396 appearances, enjoying a total of 213,021 minutes on the pitch. EFL clubs have also continued to give valuable playing time to young players from Premier League sides, with 200 players having enjoyed a loan spell in the EFL, making 2,278 appearances so far this season.

Many EFL players will now be on international duty with 147 EFL players aged 21 or younger having represented their country at senior or age group level in the 2023/24 campaign, showing how valuable EFL cubs and competitions are to youth development.

Of the full England squad named by Gareth Southgate for upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Belgium, the players had made 1,815 appearances in the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two between them. Twelve players were developed by an academy of a current EFL team, while 17 players made their debuts in EFL competitions.

These results build on 2022/23 which saw EFL Clubs hand debuts to 161 players across the three divisions, with academy-developed players making over 5,000 appearances across the three divisions.

Further key stats highlighting the EFL’s importance to developing home-grown talent include:

  • In the Championship, Blackburn Rovers and Bristol City have led the way with almost 30% of their player minutes coming from Academy graduates
  • 40% of Shaun Maloney’s Wigan Athletic team has been made up of academy graduates who have enjoyed over 13,000 minutes of playing time in League One
  • In League Two, Crewe Alexandra’s promotion push has been driven by young talent with over 20 homegrown players representing the club this season
  • The EFL will have at least one club in the 2023/24 FA Youth Cup Final with Millwall set to take on Leeds United in the semi-finals while Bristol City face Manchester City
  • In cup competitions in 2022/23, 74 players made their professional debut in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy, while 26 players were handed their first professional appearances in the Carabao Cup

EFL Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Birch, said:  

“With many top players having started their careers at EFL clubs and academies, the EFL is vital to the football pyramid.

“Developing homegrown players not only remains core to the funding model of our clubs, but fans love nothing more than watching young players compete for their club reinforcing strong bonds to the local community.

“Whether they progress through the academies or are emerging Premier League talent playing in our competitions, the EFL’s continued value lies in providing these players with vital experience at a young age standing them in great stead for their future careers whether that be in the EFL, Premier League or outside the game.”

To find out more about EFL’s Youth Development, visit 

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