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Where do Man City academy play?

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.

In recent years, players like Eric Garcia (Barcelona), Cole Palmer (Chelsea) have come through the Manchester City Academy and moved on after brief spells in the first team.

Phil Foden is the most successful recent Man City Academy graduate
Phil Foden is the most successful recent Man City Academy graduate | Photo by Icon Sport

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, a popular venue among Cityzens fans.

The Academy Stadium

Man City Academy Stadium
Photo by Icon Sport

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.

The Manchester City Academy Stadium | Man City Academy play home games here
The Manchester City Academy Stadium | Photo by Icon Sport

Man City Academy Stadium is a multi-use venue

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.

Which facilities are available at the Academy Stadium?

Renamed Joie Stadium in September 2023, the home ground to Manchester City's academy football team as well as the women's ground boasts a host of top-notch facilities. Given the immense amount of money that club ownership have pumped into this venue, it shouldn't be a surprise if you find utilities that most exist in big stadia. For example, there is a press room for pre-match and post-match conferences. The press room serves mostly the home team but visitors are also allowed to use it to address the media.

Moreover, Manchester City Academy stadium has a board room where the management undertakes its day-to-day activities as it also includes offices for the management and retail space.

Notably, the Academy Stadium is linked to the Etihad via a 190-metre bridge that passes through an intersection of Ashton New Road and also through Alan Turing Way.

Other facilities that the academy players as well as visitors enjoy at the venue are 4-star accommodations, thanks to king-size beds and exquisite bathrooms. The ground is made of  40,000km of turf. There are 56 seats in the TV auditorium where academy players through their coaches, can review match clips for training purposes.

What is the capacity of Man City academy stadium?

Unlike the Etihad which boasts a massive capacity of at least 53, 000 seats, The Academy ground has a total of 7,000 seats. However, we must say that is a pretty good amount of seating for an U21 seating, considering that most top-flight academy venues struggle to have as many spaces for matchgoers. Of the 7,000 spaces, 5,000 seats while 2,000 spaces are for standing fans.

What is the value of the Academy Stadium?

Reports indicate that the Academy Stadium which is nestled in the Etihad Campus is worth a staggering  £200 million.  The venue is one of the flagship projects that were initiated by the current Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour and was funded by a consortium of companies, some of which are owned by the Saudi billionaire. The space in which the Academy sits used to host a salty industry.

Who is The Academy head?

Thomas Krucken is the current head of the academy at Manchester City. He was previously the head of the youth wing at Stuttgart. Upon his appointment, Krucken expressed his optimism towards developing players of the future. He further opined that five things make a successful football academy namely culture, uniform methodology, people, a good transition phase, a good structure and individual development.

Notably, this is not the first time that Thoma Krucken had worked at Manchester City. He had previously coached the foundation in the 2000/01 season. He thanked the academy director back then, Jim Casssel, who allowed him to work with 10-year-old boys.

The academy takes in future stars between the ages of 5 and 14 to train and develop in them, a philosophy that applies to the Cityzen's way of playing.  Thomas Krucken is supported by Sam Fagbemi who is the head of recruitment at the academy, supported by a host of other football professionals.

Philip O'Rourke

Philip O Rourke is a Dublin-based journalist and author of Forgotten Football Clubs, 50 Clubs Around the World. He appears on the Forgotten Football Clubs podcast and, in his spare time, travels around Europe to different football stadiums, trying to watch as many different clubs as he can.

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