Ipswich Town has always been seen as a developer of players. Over the years it has provided many players, not only for Ipswich Town, but for other professional clubs and also for the national game.
The Academy is very much the cornerstone. Whatever level the Club has played at, the youth development system has provided a large percentage of squad members.
Notable players developed through the youth system at the Club since the 1960s include Roger Osbourne and Mick Mills followed in the 1970s and 1980s by George Burley, John Wark, Terry Butcher, Russell Osman, and Jason Dozzell, and more recently by James Scowcroft, Kieron Dyer, Richard Wright, Titus Bramble, Darren Bent, Darren Ambrose, Owen Garvan, Jordan Rhodes, Connor Wickham, Luke Hyam, Tommy Smith, Teddy Bishop and most recently by Andre Dozzell.
The opportunity for advancement to the first-team for young players has always existed and is exemplified by such players as Burley – debut at 17; Jason Dozzell – debut at 16; Wright – debut at 17, Dyer – debut at 17, Bent – debut at 18, Wickham and Andre Dozzell – both debut at 16.
Over the coming years the ITFC Academy will be a core part of Ipswich Town’s strategy to achieve Premier League status and, as such, the Academy will ensure we are coaching and developing at the highest levels to improve potential Premier League players.
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE IPSWICH TOWN ACADEMY
To attain and maintain Category 1 Status and provide players for the first-team or the transfer market.
VISION STATEMENT OF IPSWICH TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB AND THE ACADEMY
The Academy will be a part of Ipswich Town’s strategy to achieve Premier League status. The Academy will ensure we are coaching and developing at the highest levels to develop potential Premier League players. The Club aims to continually increase the percentage of homegrown players who appear regularly in the first-team.
Ipswich Town’s Academy strives to become a Category One Academy and one of the most successful producers of young players in the country. It wants to become established as being one of the best nationally, and the best locally, for its productivity and its care for the young player.
The purpose of the Academy is to identify and recruit young footballers of outstanding ability and to coach and educate them to reach their maximum potential, thereby giving them the very best chance of a career in football. The Academy will always operate a system of player development that is relevant and appropriate to the needs of all players within an inspirational environment which stimulates, excites and challenges players and coaches alike. Progression will continue to be based on clearly communicated essential player attributes and competencies.
The staff, without exception, continually strives to create the right environment in which to give a player the best possible start to a career in football. They undertake an holistic approach to the development of players through the provision of outstanding and inspired coaching and other support services.
The Club’s overall target for the Academy is to continue to increase the number of home grown players who appear in the 1st team.
- To produce one player per season who makes a minimum of 5 appearances in the 1st team
- To produce one player per season who (as a loan player) makes regular appearance in the 1st team of a Football League Club
- To ensure that 3 players graduate from U18 squad to PDL squad
- To ensure a minimum of 60% of Scholars have come from Ipswich Town’s Academy registered schoolboys
TO ACHIEVE OUR VISION WE PRIORITISE THE SIX CORE PRINCIPLES FOR WHICH OUR CLUB NAME STANDS
Our six core Academy principles are:
- Lead – to show the way; to be first or foremost
- Empower – to give power to; to enable
- Achieve – to accomplish; to get or attain by effort
- Develop – to give opportunity; to fulfill potential
- Excellence – to demand; and display the very best
- Drive – to cause and guide progress; to impel forward
AN ACADEMY FOR THE FUTURE
We also understand young players need to be motivated if they are to succeed in the game. We do this by providing a stimulating curriculum and environment which will prepare them for their future careers with confidence and determination.
The values we all share at the Academy (both staff and players) are:
- Respect – respect for ourselves, and respect, consideration and tolerance for the needs and views of others
- Work Ethic – a drive to work hard on and off the pitch
- Honesty – both with ourselves and others
- Co-operation – the ability to work with others, to recognise the contribution that other people make to our learning and our development, and to support and lead other people in their learning and development
- Self-reliance – ability to take responsibility for our own actions and to grow as individuals
- Sharing – we encourage all players and staff to share in their own learning, and in the range of activities that the Academy and its community can provide.
- Equality – both of opportunity and esteem
- Encouragement – to help approach training/work with enthusiasm and find enjoyment in learning and of the rules