Channel 4 has announced a new six-part documentary series looking behind closed doors at a Premier League youth football academy.
The Academy (w/t) will reveal the work that goes into developing the next generation of footballing talent at Crystal Palace F.C. Academy in South London, with insider access to the staff, players and families.
Over the course of twelve months, The Academy will follow the academy players, aged between eight and 18, as they try to achieve their dreams of becoming professional footballers, and the club coaches and staff helping them reach their potential.
Premier League stars such as Crystal Palace’s Wilfred Zaha and Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, as well as England’s current manager Gareth Southgate, have risen through the ranks at the Crystal Palace Academy, undergoing the life-changing journey from grassroots football to the most competitive league in the world.
Having recently invested £20 million to upgrade the Academy with an expansion of the football facilities and an increased focus on welfare provision and education for players, Crystal Palace are looking to attract and nurture future Premier League superstars.
Channel 4’s Jonah Weston said: “The Premier League is the richest football league in the world. But getting there is an intense journey where few succeed. I’m excited to be able to share that journey with the Channel 4 audience, as we follow the hopes and dreams of the boys giving everything for their shot at the big time.”
Steve Parish, Crystal Palace F.C. Chairman added: "Our Academy has a rich history in developing world-class footballers, and we are acutely aware that South London has one of, if not the, best footballing talent pools in the world.
Having recently invested millions in a state-of-the-art facility upgrade, achieving elite Category 1 status for our Academy in the process, we are extremely excited to take viewers behind the scenes at an elite football institution, as we aim to identify, attract and develop the next generation of Crystal Palace footballers.”