Introduction to the Middlesbrough F.C. U21 and U18.

Middlesbrough’s youth team is known as The Middlesbrough Academy. They feature in both the U21 and U18.

Middlesbrough F.C. U21 and U18.

Dave Parnaby, who was appointed in 1998 and retired in 2017 is the longest-serving academy manager. Notable players such as former first-team captains Ben Gibson and Jonathan Woodgate; Australia internationals Brad Jones, Luke Wilkshire, and Rhys Williams; Scotland internationals James Morrison, Graeme Murty, and Robbie Stockdale; England internationals Stewart Downing and Adam Johnson; as well as Northern Ireland international Chris Brunt are products of his tenure.

Consecutively, he led the Academy to the 2003 and 2004 FA Youth Cup. They finished runners-up against Manchester United in 2003 and 2004, they emerged champions against Aston Villa.

Our Academy net stretches far and wide to ensure the club’s production line of young players continues to be one of the most successful in the game.

Approximately 120 young players were registered to play for the eight Middlesbrough teams from the under-nine age group up to the U16s for the 2016/17 season.

Above all, there were 24 full-time scholars and 20 in the U18 age bracket.

There are a further 11 part-time coaching staff in our Development Centers at Eston, Hurworth, Whitby, Durham, Shildon, and Thirsk as well as the 17 part-time coaching staff at Rockliffe Park

The Premier League-produced plan – known as EPPP – saw youth football undergo its most fundamental overhaul in a generation.

More coaching access to young players came with the category one status they attained. As well as, the club’s involvement in the U18 and U21 Premier Leagues with Category One clubs at U16, U18, and U21 levels.

In the summer of 2017, the club’s academy category one status was renewed for a further two years. Long-serving Academy Manager Dave Parnaby and former scout Ron Bone both announced their retirement that same year. Their works played a huge part in securing Category One Academy status for Rockliffe Park. Craig Liddle replaced Parnaby in 2017.

Upon hearing that the club would keep its status as Category One, Academy Manager Liddle said: “We are delighted that we have once again been recognized with Category One status”.

Watch Words

“A tremendous amount of hard work has gone in from the Academy and football club towards this important achievement”.

“Our Academy has a fantastic history of achievement and with the Category One status in place, we can look forward to continuing that good work.”

Directive to EPPP

What is the main goal?

Youth development upgrade requires a long-term strategy.

It has six fundamental principles:

  • Increase the number of home-grown players gaining pro contracts and playing first-team football at the highest level
  • Create more time for players to play and experience quality coaching
  • Improve coaching provision
  • Implement a system of effective measurement and quality assurance
  • Positively influence strategic investment into the Academy system, demonstrating value for money
  • Seek to implement significant gains in every aspect of player development

Number of Categories

There are four. The club is in category one

The effect on Boro’s Academy games program

National leagues involving Category One clubs at U18 and U23 levels feature the club’s teams

Educational changes

Operating three levels to provide either full-time, “hybrid” or part-time education for young players can be selected by clubs. Some of the players’ school work is done at Rockliffe Park due to the club choosing a hybrid.

Extent Of Coaching Freedom permitted

 It’s a minimum of 14 hours a week for Under-18 players, 12 hours for U16s and U15s, 10 hours for U12s to U14s, eight hours for U11s, and four hours for U9s and U10s. It varies with each age group.

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Background Of Middlesbrough F.C.

Middlesbrough Football Club was formed in 1876 and is located in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. They feature in the second division of English football, the EFL Championship. Since 1995, they have played at the Riverside Stadium. However, from 1903 to 1995, the club played at Ayresome Park for 92 years.

In 1992, Middlesbrough became one of the founding members of the Premier League. However, following the 1992–93 season, they became one of the first clubs to be relegated. They underwent critical financial struggles and came close to folding in 1986. Thankfully, they were saved by a consortium led by then board member and later chairman Steve Gibson. Sunderland, Newcastle United, and Leeds United are the club’s main rivals.

In 2004, the club won the League Cup, their first and only major trophy to date. They also reached the 2006 UEFA Cup Final, losing to Spanish club Sevilla. In the 1913–14 season, they finished third, their highest league finish to date. The club has only spent two seasons outside the top two divisions of English football. The League Cup win and the UEFA Cup run were part of an 11-year consecutive stay in the Premier League. They were relegated In 2009 and returned in 2016. But, they were relegated instantly that same season.

The Club’s Kit

Middlesbrough FC’s custom kit is red with white highlights. The redshirt was obtained in 1899. Shorts and sock colors have interchangeably been shifted between red and white, complementing the red shirt. Many different crests have been used throughout the club’s history. in 2007, incorporating a lion rampant was adopted and is still used.

The Wins And Challenges Of The Club Since (2009–2017)

In October 2009, Southgate was dismissed and replaced by Gordon Strachan. The club was fourth in the Championship and only a point away from the promotion spot at the time. But, they finished mid-table and their form under Strachan was worse.

Boro began the 2010-11 season badly despite starting as promotion favorites. However, on 18 October, Strachan resigned. Tony Mowbray took over from him. However, on 24 October, Mowbray left the club immediately after a poor 2013-14 season.

A new manager, Aitor Karanka later took over signing a two-year contract. Karanka was a former Spain International defender and assistant coach to José Mourinho at Real Madrid. The Spaniard was the first non-British anger at the Middlesbrough FC. He finished the season 12th in the final league standings. Middlesbrough finished fourth and qualified for the 2015 Football League play-offs in his first full season as manager.

They lost 0-2 to Norwich City in the final at  Wembley Stadium after defeating Brentford 5-1 on aggregate. Patrick Bamford, on loan from Chelsea, won the Championship Player of the Year award for 2014–15 under Karanka. The club finished second in the Championship in 2015–16, drawing 1–1 with Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day of the season. As a result, they got promotion back to the Premier League.

However, in March 2017, the club sacked Karanka. This was after a poor run of form. The team was relegated after just one season back in the top flight in 19th place. They recorded the lowest in the league only winning 5 league games, and netting 27 goals.

The Club’s Return To The Championship (2017–present)

Garry Monk took over the club’s management in the low season. The club spent about £50 million on player purchases in a bid to secure immediate promotion to the Premier League. As a result, expectations at the club were high.

In December, Monk left with Middlesbrough ninth in the Championship and underachieving. As a result, Tony Pulis who qualified the club for the playoffs replaced him. But, they lost to Aston Villa in the semi-final.

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After a promising start the following season, Pulis aimed to secure the playoffs again. However, a poor finish to the season caused them to finish 7th and miss out on the playoffs by one point.

On 17 May 2019, Pulis left the club after his contract expired.

Former Middlesbrough defender and first-team coach, Jonathan Woodgate signed a three-year contract with the club on 14 June 2019. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they suspended the 2019-20 season. It lasted from March to June 2020. The team dropped as low as 21st in the table with only one win in 12 games.

Meanwhile, the club sacked Woodgate on 23 June 2020. This was after suffering a 3-0 loss to Swansea City in the first game after the restart. As a result, Neil Warnock, former Cardiff manager, took over. Neil helped the team with a 17th-place finish, thereby avoiding relegation. Warnock and his assistants, Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson, left Middlesbrough by mutual consent with the club on 6 November 2021. Meanwhile, the club already identified Chris Wilder as Warnock’s replacement.

Facilities And Infrastructure Of The Club

Albert Park hosted Middlesbrough’s first two years of football as amateurs after formation in 1876. The Park executives ordered the club to find another venue after noticing damages caused by fans and players. The club rented and moved to Breckon Hill, behind the former Middlesbrough College Longlands site.

However, the owner increased the rent and the club decided to move in 1880. They moved into the Linthorpe Road ground, home at the time of Middlesbrough Cricket Club in 1882. Middlesbrough FC became sole users of the ground when the cricket club moved to the Breckon Hill field in 1893-94.

In 1903, they moved to Ayresome Park due to the club’s entry into the Football League and its increasing fame. Archibald Leitch designed the stadium and club home for the next 92 years. They used the stadium to host games in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. However, the ground needed renovation or the club needed a new stadium, following Taylor Report in 1990.

At the end of the 1994–95 campaign, the club reached a decision and moved out of the ground. In 1995–96, they used it generally as a training ground. However, in 1997, they built a housing estate after its demolition. The club now uses a £7 million complex at Rockliffe Park, in Hurworth, on the outskirts of Darlington to train.

More Information

In 1995, the Riverside Stadium became the club’s home. The fans gave the stadium a name after a vote. Also, it was the first stadium that they built with Taylor Report’s standards. In addition, it was on all-seater stadiums for clubs in the top two divisions of the English football league system. Constructed for £16 million, it was originally a 30,000-seater stadium. However, in 1998, they expanded it to a capacity of 35,100. This was for an extra £5 million.

The Riverside Stadium has undergone several renovations. They moved the way fans from behind the goal in the South stand to the southeast corner. Meanwhile, Home fans are now behind both goals. They did this change at the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign, to help create a better atmosphere. A giant TV screen replaced the old-model scoreboards, attached to the North and South stand roofs at the back of the Southeast corner.

Also, they improved the stadium’s broadcasting facilities and floodlighting to meet the current Premier League requirements at the start of the 2016–17 season. The club also took the opportunity to move the main camera gantry to the back of the East stand where it now faces the main West stand. As of the 2017–18 season, the stadium capacity is 34,000.

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Over the past several years, average attendances at Middlesbrough have varied. Moving from a 2004–05 high average of 32,012 to a low of 26,092 in 2006–07, then up again to 28,428 in 2008–09. The attendance drastically reduced following relegation to the championship. However, the crowd of 23,451 which saw Middlesbrough’s first Championship game against Sheffield United represents far higher gates than is usual for the division, and indeed larger than those of some Premier League clubs.

Side Note

For their 2015–16 promotion season from the Championship to the Premier League, the club attracted an average of 24,6276.

Since 2016,  Coral bookmakers will provide the stadium with betting services until 2019.

About the Club’s Community

Steve Gibson, then club chairman founded the Middlesbrough Football Club in the Community (MFCIC) in 1996. It is one of the largest communities, that bases on football schemes in the United Kingdom.  It receives assistance from the club in terms of providing players, staff, stadium facilities, and PR on match day. Although, they run it separately from the club.

Also, it receives programs and other publications, as well as support from other local organizations. They relaunched MFCIC as MFC Foundation in 2012. Invulnerable communities across Teesside, the foundation looks to utilize the club’s profile to deliver sport, health, education, and inclusion projects. The Foundation has delivered 20,000 qualifications, engaged over 500,000 people, and invested £25 million in local communities to tackle inequality since 1996.

The club and MFCIC have also run the Middlesbrough Enterprise Academy since 2002. It’s a scheme that helps improve local children’s entrepreneurial skills and increase their financial awareness. The Premier League revealed its plan to roll out the scheme nationally amongst all Premier League clubs in March 2008.

In December 2007, they announced Middlesbrough FC to have carried out more community work than any other Premier League club during 2006-07. This was a rise from the previous year, with the club making 318 appearances – almost twice the Premier League average of 162. In 2007–08, they were in the top two for community appearance again with 374 – a 17% increase on the previous season.

Additional Information

Middlesbrough’s mascot is Roary the Lion. The Club’s Roary Children Charity Fund bought items for local children’s charities.

A steel producer Corus Group revealed the possibility of mothballing its Teesside plant in 2009. This was after a consortium of steel magnates walked away from a 10-year deal. As a result, about 4,000 employees and contractors risked unemployment.

 Middlesbrough Football Club helped dozens of steelworkers and their families, assisting the “Save our Steel” movement. They marched around the ground, and promoted the campaign via the stadium’s PA system, scoreboards, and matchday programs, while players wore T-shirts during warmups promoting the campaign.

Steve Gibson, the Chairman  said:

“Middlesbrough Football Club exists for the community, for the people of Teesside—and the closure of the steel plants threatens to rip the heart out of our community. We cannot stand by and allow that to happen. Also, e want the steelworkers and their families to know that we are behind them and will help their campaign in any way we can … We like to think that the football club is the flagship of Teesside. Well this is our town and these are our people and we have to do what we can to help them.”

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