Date:Tuesday August 7 2012
Leeds United will have a team entered in the under 21 league after a shake-up of youth football in the domestic league.
Leeds will take their place in the Northern section of League Two alongside Barnsley, Birmingham City, Coventry City, Crewe Alexandra, Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan Athletic in the twelve team division.
The new system has been introduced by EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) with a 23 team Premier League also being introduced.
Championship clubs could apply for category one status to join those sides from the Premier League who had also applied.
Leeds have joined those clubs on a category two status whilst six championship clubs were successful in their application for category one status.
Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers who were all relegated from the Premier League last season have been joined by Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Watford in joining seventeen Premier League clubs in the Premier League sections of the league, which has been split into three.
Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Wigan Athletic are the only three clubs currently in the Premier League who will not be taking their place in the elite sections, with Wigan playing in the same division as Leeds.
The league will give the opportunity for a number of the promising Leeds youngsters to show their potential with a number making a huge impression for Leeds in pre-season. Both Sam Byram and Dominic Poleon have been regulars for Leeds in pre-season, with both scoring their first senior goals.
The Leeds United academy is looking in good shape once again. The academy at Thorp Arch was the brainchild of former boss Howard Wilkinson and it saw a whole host of future stars breakthrough in the 1990`s as the youth side twice won the FA Youth Cup.
Future stars such as Paul Robinson, Ian Harte, Jonathan Woodgate, Alan Smith, Matt Jones, Stephen McPhail and Harry Kewell came through the academy at Thorp Arch.
In recent seasons, Fabian Delph and Jonny Howson have come through the academy to become regulars for Leeds before earning big money moves to the Premier League.
Last season Aidan White, Tom Lees, Charlie Taylor, Alex Cairns and Zac Thompson all got their chance in the first team.
Newcastle United pipped the Leeds youngster`s to the academy league last season after a strong finish from Leeds saw them come up just short.
The season will start for Neil Redfearn`s young side with a home game against Derby County on August 22nd.
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Date:Tuesday August 7 2012
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