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After last season's Treble victory, English football's dominant force Manchester City are undoubtedly the world's best at the moment, and while their success has stemmed from their spending power, it's worth noting the talent produced by the Man City Academy in recent years.
Of course, investment is required to make a quality Academy like City's, but that money must be spent well, and it has. City have produced plenty of young promising players some who have made first-team appearances and some who may not have broken into the City first team but have excelled elsewhere.
The history of the Manchester City Academy producing players is impressive with the likes of Micah Richards, Daniel Sturridge, Shaun Wright-Phillips, and Joey Barton all names that have come through the youth system and have played for the first team.
Phil Foden is probably the most successful recent Man City Academy product, who has cemented a place in the first team and has won plenty of silverware since.
But where do the Man City Academy play their matches? No, it’s not at the Etihad, but just down the road, or in fact, just over the bridge. It’s called the Academy Stadium.
The Academy Stadium
The Academy Stadium, or the Joie Stadium as it is known for sponsorship purposes, is part of the Etihad Campus and is home to the Manchester City Academy as well as Manchester City Women.
Opened on 8 December 2014, it was built on 80 acres of land, with the promise to cater for over 400 youth players a year. The first matches were played on 14 December by students of the Manchester Metropolitan University.
It boasts amenities such as a press room, a board room, offices, and retail spaces. It is also only 400 meters away from the Etihad Stadium where the senior men’s team plays. It is attached by a bridge that goes over the intersection of Ashton New Road and Alan Turing Way.
It has an overall capacity of 7,000, 4,998 of which are seated. The cost of the structure was around £200 million.
Man City Academy Stadium is multi-use
The stadium played host to three UEFA Women’s European Champion matches in 2022, for Group D (Belgium vs Iceland, Italy vs Iceland, and Italy vs Belgium). All the games nearly reached 4,000 attendees.
It also hosted some World Rugby Under-20 Championships games back in 2016.