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EFL Clubs Must Name One Homegrown Player On Bench From 2018/19

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Want to see even more Academy players in the EFL? Well you're going to get your wish.

Tottenham Hotspur U21 v Reading U21: Barclays U21 Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The EFL have announced another shakeup to rules regarding young players, with news that they're introducing a policy that will see the league's 72 members forced to name at least one 'club developed player' in their matchday squads from the 2018/19 season.

For Reading, that really shouldn't be much of a problem, given the outstanding work of everyone involved in the club's Academy over the past few seasons but it might cause a few grumbles among the big boys relegated from the Premier League.

There's also an increase to the number of homegrown players clubs have to pick, with the number moving up from six to seven next season.

Here's a statement on the changes from the EFL's website.

"EFL Clubs have today made a further commitment to supporting young players, by approving proposals to increase the number of homegrown players on team sheets from six to seven in 2017/18.

In a collective bid to help more players make the transition from Academy to first-team football, EFL Clubs also agreed to introduce a requirement for at least one club developed player to be named on each team sheet for any EFL League game from the start of the 2018/19 season.

The changes are welcome news according to EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey.

He said: “I hope this latest commitment made by our clubs is further evidence of the EFL taking the initiative in looking for practical and effective measures that can be introduced to help managers and coaches in the ongoing development of young players.

“It is imperative that we provide young players not only with a platform, but also with the belief that opportunities will be made available to progress from youth to senior football. I am confident that this decision will have a positive and lasting impact on the future of football in this country.”

Personally I'm a fan of this, as clubs SHOULD be doing their best to provide opportunities for young players to get a taste of first team football wherever possible. With 18-players in a squad I'm not sure there's an overwhelming argument as to why at least one of those can't have come from the club's Academy, although I could easily see a scenario of Academy goalkeepers being put on benches up and down the leagues just to comply with the rules.

Still, it's a shame that it's got to the point where clubs are being forced to play young players rather than giving them opportunities. Thankfully Reading aren't one of those clubs and if you wanted to know more about our ethos as a club, just listen to our interview with Academy Manager Lee Herron.

So what do you make of the changes? Good news, bad news or meh?