Cardiff City FC and the University of Glamorgan Open Football Academy

13 Feb, 2012, 14:32 ET from University of Glamorgan

TREFOREST, Wales, February 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay joined students, players and board members to launch the Cardiff City FC Academy's new facilities at the University of Glamorgan Sport Park in Treforest, South Wales.

First team players Darcy Blake and Joe Ralls, who are graduates of the Academy, attended the event. The Cardiff City F.C. Academy is the youth academy currently set up by the Club in order to discover and nurture young talent and has a range of players from ages 7-18. The new Facility will be a dedicated area where the young people can undertake training, physio and rehab under one roof. The Academy players will train on the University's eight full-size pitches, which include a 3G rubber crumb pitch.

The partnership between Cardiff City FC and the University of Glamorgan has emerged as a driving force behind the Club's Youth Development programme. The strength of the partnership, combined with the first-class facilities at the Sports Park, has led to the Academy making its home on the University's site.

Cardiff City FC Manager Malky Mackay said: "What we see today is a special relationship between our football club and the University as an academic institution of excellence. For us at Cardiff City it's about the long term with Glamorgan, not the short term."

Huw Williams, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan, said: "Part of the University of Glamorgan's role is to provide the top level skills and facilities that enable athletes, coaches, and clubs like Cardiff City to unlock their potential. Glamorgan Sport Park isn't just the home of champions in the Olympic track or the rugby field: we are looking forward to continuing to build our superb relationship with Cardiff City, Wales's greatest football club. We are unashamed of the fact that the University of Glamorgan plays for Wales on the UK and the global stage as a sporting base for the very best, elite coaching and sports science, and the Academy and today's event are a signal of intent that we value our partnership with them as a club

Cardiff City FC Chief Executive Alan Whiteley said: "It is certainly reassuring to know that the future of our Academy is so promising and exciting. Together we have ensured that there is long-term stability for Youth Development, as well as pooling our resources to maximise the impressive provisions we can offer. Neal Ardley has made a huge contribution to this in recent years and set high standards for player production. Joe Ledley, Darcy Blake, Chris Gunter and Aaron Ramsey all progressed through our Youth system and have gone on to establish themselves as top quality professional footballers. More recently Joe Ralls has graduated to the first team and we are very optimistic as to who will be the next one. I've no doubt that with the solid foundations we have set that there will be many more to come and thus ensure our long-term success on the field."

SOURCE University of Glamorgan