Football Development Schools & WBA

‘Football Development Schools plays a significant role in the recruitment of players in the East Midlands where their coaching centres operate for West Bromwich Albion FC Academy. I have worked very closely with the staff at FDS for over 6 years now and the quality of their teaching, their players and their coaches is as good as many academies and certainly better than many Centre’s of Excellence.

The ethos of their organisation is exactly in tune with ours and the focus on managing the ball from defence into midfield and through to the attacking areas means that FDS players are tactically, technically and mentally prepared for academy football. I am very proud of the close working relationship that FDS and WBA have and it has proven to be successful with young players signed on schoolboy forms for our academy.

The Football Development Schools programme provides a stepping stone from junior football to academy football and gives a holistic education to players and most importantly is an enjoyable experience that stimulates player’s potential. I am confident that in the future months and years FDS will continue to play a pivotal role for West Bromwich Albion FC in the identification and recruitment of young players in the areas they work.’


Stephen Hopcroft
Head of Academy Recruitment
West Bromwich Albion FC