Manchester City are looking to build on the success of the club's world renowned Academy.
The club's decision in the late 1990s to invest heavily in its youth system at Platt Lane has reaped dividends, with 31 players having featured for the first team since.
However Mark Allen, the Head of Academy Business and Operations (pictured below), is not content for the Academy to rest on its laurels and is keen that the club does everything it can to keep the talent coming through the gates at Platt Lane.
Mark says, "Our vision has to be that this is the Academy of choice for players aged from six to 18, no matter what competition is out there.
"We want that the parents of potential Manchester City players will really want their boys to come to Manchester City's Academy because it is renowned to be the best that there is. We're on our way, and we're driving everything we are doinhere towards that vision.
"We want our functional experts in all the different fields here, such as coaching and education, to focus on what they do best and to do it to the best of their ability
"The support from the owners is fundamental and has been critical to allowing me and the staff to begin developing the model of excellence and driving us to becoming the Academy of choice. We're investing in the coaching at certain age groups to bring the best, but it goes wider than that. It's across player care, medical, performance analysis, recruitment and other areas. If we are driving for excellence, and we have the support to bring that in, then collectively we can become the Academy of choice."
Mark will outline the exciting plans for the Academy in a video interview to be shown here on mcfc.co.uk later on this week.