Academy Games Programme finishes

Ryan Stirk in action for Blues Under-23s
Ryan Stirk in action for Blues Under-23s

This season's Academy Games Programme and associated competitions have been terminated.

It means that Blues Under-23s and Under-18s seasons are formally over.

The remaining games planned for the Under-9s to Under-16 age groups have also been scrapped.

The decision by the Premier League for Category 1 and Category 2 clubs is independent of any discussions regarding the resumption of the 2019/20 campaign for First Team football.

Kristjaan Speakman, Blues Academy Manager, commented: "It was important to get confirmation on this so we can try and plan accordingly.

"Ultimately we have to protect players and their families. We all want games to resume but this makes perfect sense and to now look forward to what is possible in the coming months.

We will continue to support the players with the best provision possible given the situation.â€

Blues Under-23s had eight remaining games in the PDL North before lockdown. The side, coached by Steve Spooner, were sitting fifth in the table.

They were due to play two matches at the St. Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium.

Their last outing was on 6 March, a 2-0 win at Hull City. Adan George and Ryan Burke netted.

The Under-18s, coached by Paul Robinson, still had nine fixtures outstanding in the PDL North.

The EFL administers the programme for Category 3 and 4 clubs (Under-9s to Under-18s) and in a statement it said the termination has been taken to 'give Academy staff and their players an element of clarity at this challenging time'.

The methodology for determining the final league standings or other outcomes for the season will be decided at a future date, the EFL added.

It is also intended that any fixtures for the 2020/21 Academy season will not commence any earlier than would usually be expected.