EFL to Attempt to Increase Opportunities for Young Players

EFL CLUBS have made a further commitment to supporting young players by approving proposals to increase the number of home-grown players on team sheets from six to seven in 2017-18.

In a collective bid to help more players make the transition from Academy to first team football, EFL clubs also agreed to introduce a requirement for at least one club-developed player to be named on each team sheet for any EFL League game from the start of the 2018-19 season.

The changes to the regulations, which aim to create a clearer pathway from clubs’ development programmes into the professional game, were formally approved at an EFL EGM in London following a meeting of all 72 clubs in February.
The changes are welcome news according to EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey.

He said: “I hope this latest commitment made by our clubs is further evidence of the EFL taking the initiative in looking for practical and effective measures that can be introduced to help managers and coaches in the ongoing development of young players.

“It is imperative that we provide young players not only with a platform, but also with the belief that opportunities will be made available to progress from youth to senior football. I am confident that this decision will have a positive and lasting impact on the future of football in this country.” 

A Home Grown Player is defined as:
A player who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with either his current club or a club affiliated with the FA (or FAW) for a period, continuous, or not, of three seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season in which he turns 21). From 2017-18, a minimum of seven home-grown player will be required on each first team teamsheet. (regulation 33.7)

A Club Developed Player is defined as:
A Club Developed Player means a player who has been registered with the relevant club for a minimum of 12 months prior to the end of his U19 season (U19 season is deemed to conclude on August 31 as per the Youth Development Rules).
Subject to Regulation 33.11, with effect from the commencement of the 2018/19 season, each club shall be required to nominate at least one Club Developed Player on their team sheet of players for all league competition matches (including play-off matches). 
Where any club does not name a Club Developed Player on the team sheet, that club will only be permitted to name up to six substitutes on that team sheet (Rather than seven as permitted by regulation 33.4).