West Brom academy once again rated elite by auditors

West Brom The Hawthorns

The Baggies will be the sole West Midlands club in the Premier League next season.

General view before the matchThe Hawthorns

West Brom have seen their youth academy rated at the elite level once again ahead of the coming season, according to a report in the Express and Star.

Only 23 outfits held the category one status last season, and it is a positive sign for a club full of young talent, having first been judged 

West Brom's Director of Football, Richard Garlick paid tribute to the decision, and those helping the club achieve it.

"It's a reflection of the foundations put in place 10 years ago and built on over time," Garlick is quoted as saying by the Express and Star.

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony PulisWest Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis

"It also reflects the hard work of all the academy staff, often in unseen and unsociable hours, and in particular the way in which Mark Harrison organises and runs it.

“We've got a very good reputation for producing good young players."

The Baggies academy has been particularly successful in the last few years, helping nurture a succession of exciting young talent into professional football.

The most notable of these is undoubtedly Saido Berahino, who despite his disappointing season last year has still proven himself one of the Premier League's top young strikers, and if sold, will make millions for the club.

West Bromwich Albion's Jonathan Leko in actionWest Bromwich Albion's Jonathan Leko in action

But there are just as big hopes for the likes of young forward Jonathan Leko, who played in five of the last eight games of the season just gone, and started the last three matches. Sam Field and Tyler Roberts also made their debut in the final fixture against Liverpool.

Others such as Isaiah Brown at Chelsea, Yan Dhanda at Liverpool and Derby's George Thorne came through at the Hawthorns.

Next season will see West Brom as the only West Midlands representative in the Premier League, for the first time in their history. Depending on what happens at relegated rivals Aston Villa next season, West Brom could find that they are firmly established as the biggest draw in the region for exciting young talent, especially if the Baggies continue to see players come through their youth system to feature in the Premier League.

West Brom's Saido Berahino celebrates scoring their third goalWest Brom's Saido Berahino celebrates scoring

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