As part of EFL Youth Development Week, Matthew Layton – Swansea City academy coach and head of the youth development stage – discusses the process and importance of player development in the club course system.
According to recent research, in the 2021-22 EFL season, some 209 starts were made by academy players at the clubs where they were developed.
Remarkably, around 81% of players named on EFL squad sheets in the 2021-22 season were homegrown players.
Swansea City have a long-standing reputation for developing and nurturing young talent, and a quick walk through the halls of the academy’s Landore base – laden with photos of those who rolled off the Swans’ production line – bears witness the caliber of players produced in SA1.
Further proof of the success of the academy’s work came when Wales coach Rob Page named his 26-man World Cup squad last week.
Current Swansea Joe Allen and Ben Cabango have been named in the Qatar squad, with Ollie Cooper added as a traveling substitute.
But, in addition to this trio, there are also four other players in the squad who have come through Swansea City’s academy path.
Connor Roberts, Joe Rodon, Ben Davies and Daniel James have all spent time in the Swans trail system at Landore, meaning almost a quarter of Rob Page’s final selection are Swansea City products.
Meanwhile, more than 15 young players have been capped by Wales so far this season at Under-15 or Under-16 level, from the Victory Shield in Ireland to training camps in Spain and in France.