What Is A Club Developed Player & Why Does It Matter
EFL member clubs will be held to a 'club developed player' requirement from the start of the 2018/19 campaign.
In the summer of 2017 EFL member clubs from the Championship, League One and League Two agreed to an additional match day squad requirement for the coming season.
Namely that of a 'club developed' player in particular.
With the last few seasons seeing plenty of focus on youth development at all levels with the introduction of Premier League and Championship Category A sides into the EFL Trophy, initiatives for clubs who blood youngsters and so on, the ongoing driver is the Football Association's desire to help England perform better on the international stage.
This latest requirement means that each match day squad from next August must contain at least one player who classifies as 'club developed' defined by a period of at least 12 months within their specific youth system before the end of their applicable Under 19 campaign.
Football League clubs agreed on the change last season and cemented the new regulations in their rulebooks for enaction ahead of this coming campaign.
Few, if any clubs, will have difficulty making this step and complying but fans will of course naturally wonder if a player is in a match day squad on merit and because they are ready, or whether they are that week's go to when it comes to taking a place on the bench.
In any eventuality though, there's a lot to be said for younger players experiencing crowds in excess of the numbers attracted to youth football and most certainly the more vociferous crowds in profession football.
An added benefit of course will be that whether or not they are strictly making up the numbers, few team mates and coaching staff won't insist they prepare absolutely properly for the game ahead like others in the match day squad, so youngsters will learn from that even if they aren't expected to take to the pitch.
That of course doesn't take into account those youngsters that may get a break through this when they would've otherwise been overlooked owing to their age - even if it was 5-10 minutes at the end of a match.
The change applies to league games moving forward and is an addition to the existing 'home grown' requirement placed on EFL clubs, where six players in a match day squad had to be defined as 'home grown' and registered with a club in England or Wales for three seasons, or 36 months, prior to their 21st birthday.