Academy of Light interior

About the Academy

What is the Academy and why is it needed?

The Academy of Light

Sunderland Road
Cleadon
SR6 7UN

Click here for a map 


What is the Academy?

Sunderland boasts one of the best Academies in the world, having been granted the highest possible rating during the Premier League’s EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) assessments.

It is more than just a building and pitches. Our Academy is where boys come to learn our philosophy and how to do things the right way – the Sunderland way.

We are committed to footballing excellence but also provide our young players with valuable advice, a sound education and a solid platform to move forward and make the right lifestyle choices.

If you have a question about a trial or joining us, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section.


What are the aims of the Academy?

Having been granted EPPP Category One status, the club has already done much valuable work but we are always looking to improve and take the lead in elite player development.

The likes of Jordan Henderson and Jack Colback have progressed play regularly for the first team over the last few years with a whole host of talent constantly being produced.

The Academy aims to be professional, approachable and friendly and will give young players the best chance to develop on the pitch as well as socially and academically.

We have a responsibility to develop young players in a challenging, safe and supportive environment with committed and experienced members of staff.

We strive to create an environment where developing players are encouraged to experiment, make errors and express themselves.

A system is in place which allows young players to progress to the first team squad if they are prepared to work hard, be open-minded and stay committed.

Players will be treated fairly and will receive advice and feedback as part of a holistic approach which will produce young men and footballers we can all be proud of.