Date: 24th October 2011 at 11:44am
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Martin Dobson has left his role as Burnley director of youth development after three years in charge.

Burnley operational director Brendan Flood said:

‘We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Martin for all his hard work, dedication and commitment to the club during the past three years.

‘We want to become widely known for developing the very best young players and the club is now progressively moving towards an integrated ‘One Club’ philosophy, to ensure the fans enjoy entertaining football, with the aim of more of our own youth players representing the club in future years.’

The reason for his departure is not totally clear but it seems to be related to a management restructure of the club`s youth department in preparation for the new EPPP Regulations to be implemented in 2012-13. The FA Premier league, through consultation with the Football League and the Football Association, has agreed a new structure for the future of English youth development proposing that youth departments should be organised into one of four Academy categories.

According to the official club site:

‘To achieve a particular category, pre-determined criteria must be met, including mandatory staffing levels, agreed financial investment and a detailed coaching philosophy, supporting the player development pathway from under-5 to full time professional. The club has undertaken a detailed benchmarking exercise with peer clubs to enable the creation of a competitive Academy environment for the long term future of Burnley FC.`

It would appear therefore that Martin Dobson following the completion of his contract is not considered appropriate for this potential new organisation. This is despite the fact that these past three years he has overseen the recruitment of many young players and has been involved in their development through the Centre of Excellence to the end of their scholarships and into potential professional deals.

Dobbo is of course a Burnley legend and a former club captain having also had two spells at the club as a player in the 70s and 80s. Many Clarets fans will therefore be very sad to see him leave and everybody at Vital Burnley wishes him well for the future.

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