Professional Development League

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For the American league, see Premier Development League.
Professional Development League
Country England
Founded 2012
Current champions U21
League 1
Chelsea
League 2
Crewe Alexandra
U18
League 1
Everton
League 2
Huddersfield Town

2014–15 Professional U21 Development League
2014–15 Professional U18 Development League

The Professional Development League is a system of youth football leagues that are managed, organised and controlled by the Premier League or by the Football League. It was introduced by the Football Association via the Elite Player Performance Plan in 2012.[1]

The system was introduced in early 2012 and was active for the first time during the 2012-13 season. It is a successor to the Premier Reserve League, Premier Academy League and Football Combination. The Football League Youth Alliance makes up League 3 of the under 18 system. The system covers the under-18 and under-21 age groups.[1]

Previously, clubs participating in the Premier Reserve League (the highest level of reserve football in England) were removed from the competition if their first team in the Premier League were relegated and replaced with a promoted team. Under the Professional Development League system, Premier League reserves teams' league status is not directly linked to the first team's Premier League status. Instead, there are three different Professional Development Leagues at each age-group level and clubs in the top four tiers of the English football league system are placed in the system based on the assessment of their academy for the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

U21 level[edit]

The U21 age-range was set up for the first time with the introduction of the Professional Development League. Teams are allowed to field three overage outfield players and one overage goalkeeper. League 3 clubs voted against introducing an U21 league, the northern based sides instead choosing to continue fielding reserve sides in the Central League.

Grading[edit]

League Sponsored name Run by Participating clubs Number of clubs
Professional Development League 1 Barclays U21 Premier League Premier League For academies with a Category 1 rating 24
Professional Development League 2 Premier League For academies with a Category 2 rating 19

League 1[edit]

Champions[edit]

From 2012/13 to 2013/14, the champions of League 1 were the team who won the knockout stage final. From 2014-15, the champions of League 1 will be the team who finish 1st in Division 1.

2014/15 Participants[edit]

League 2[edit]

Champions[edit]

The overall League 2 champions are the team who win the knock-out stage at the end of the season.

2014/15 Participants[edit]

U18 level[edit]

The Professional Development U18 Leagues 1 and 2 replace the Premier Academy League, with League 3 still being run under the auspices of the Football League Youth Alliance.

Grading[edit]

League Sponsored name Run by Participating clubs Number of clubs
Professional Development League 1 Barclays U18 Premier League Premier League For academies with a Category 1 rating 24
Professional Development League 2 - Premier League For academies with a Category 2 rating 19
Professional Development League 3 Football League Youth Alliance Football League For academies with a Category 3 or 4 rating 51

League 1[edit]

Champions[edit]

2014/15 Participants[edit]

League 2[edit]

Champions[edit]

The overall League 2 champions are the team who win the knock-out stage at the end of the season.

2014/15 Participants[edit]

League 3[edit]

Champions[edit]

The Football League Youth Alliance does not currently use a process of determining the overall champions.

Season Division 1 North Division 1 South
1998/99 Sheffield United -
1999/00 Bury Brighton & Hove Albion
2000/01 Doncaster Rovers Leyton Orient
2001/02 Tranmere Rovers Brentford
2002/03 Tranmere Rovers Brentford
2003/04 Oldham Athletic Cambridge United
2004/05 Oldham Athletic Cambridge United
Season North-West Conference North-East Conference South-West Conference South-East Conference
2005/06 Oldham Athletic Chesterfield Yeovil Town Brighton & Hove Albion
2006/07 Oldham Athletic Hull City Oxford United Queens Park Rangers
2007/08 Walsall Hull City Plymouth Argyle Queens Park Rangers
2008/09 Wrexham Chesterfield Swindon Town Southend United
2009/10 Preston North End Hull City Swindon Town Millwall
2010/11 Rochdale Chesterfield Swindon Town Queens Park Rangers
2011/12 Preston North End Hull City Plymouth Argyle Queens Park Rangers
2012/13 Wrexham Hull City Bristol Rovers Portsmouth
2013/14 Blackpool Bradford City Colchester United

2014/15 Participants[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Youth development rules" (pdf). TheFa.com. Retrieved 8 August 2012.