CAS is the Scottish FA’s structure that defines, operates, and partially funds the Academy system in this country, alongside a games programme. It governs the development of players from the age of 11 to 17, rising to Under-18 level from August. Clubs are assessed against set criteria and a set of Measurable Performance Outcomes, which consider performance in areas like domestic and international appearances for home-grown players, coaching qualifications, facilities, talent identification, sports science, and medical set-ups.
Commenting on the award, Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said: “Elite status means the Queen’s Park FC Academy will compete in the highest tier of youth football in Scotland. We are determined to build a sustainable club rooted in our community, with the emphasis on developing our own young players. The coaching, sport science, education, child welfare and medical care of our young players competing at Elite level gives us the best possible opportunity of achieving our objectives.
“Our Academy is fundamental to the footballing strategy of the club and I am delighted all the hard work undertaken by many areas of the club has been recognised with our inclusion at Elite level.”
Director of Football Operations Marijn Beuker said: “Achieving CAS Elite status was a top priority for the Academy. It is the foundation of our club. If you want to be the best, you have to play with and against the best. The benefits for players and staff to play in this program will be tremendous. It means the bar is higher and we are challenged more, which is always needed if you want to develop.
“I would like to thank the club for their support in securing Elite status. It has been an extremely rigorous process and I am excited to get started.”
Queen’s Park youth teams up to and including the Under 16’s will enter the CAS Elite Games Programme starting this month. The Under 18’s will finish the season in the current setup and will join the new CAS Elite Under 18’s Games Programme starting in August.