Barnsley FC is hoping to make its academy the best in the country after scoring higher than top Premier League clubs in a Football League audit.
Under the new Elite Player Performance Plan system, all clubs must apply for a category status between one and four and the Reds have successfully applied for Category Two.
They may apply to join the top Premier League clubs in Category One when they are audited again in three years’ time.
“We have always thought that we are a very good academy, but it is nice to have it officially confirmed by the Football League as a fact in black and white,” said academy manager Ronnie Branson.
“A lot of people at the Football League have told us that we are up there with the best in the country but now we need to build on that reputation and establish ourselves as the best. We have excellent facilities here and we are getting a new astroturf pitch next summer.
“There were a lot of staff members who worked very hard on the audit and we would not have been able to do this without the support of the Barnsley board.
“We will see where we are in three years when the next audit comes around. It would be a lot of work to get to Category One but we won’t rule it out.”