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Crystal Palace chairman Parish: This academy best thing in my life

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish admits the development of the club's academy base is his proudest achievement.

Parish reflected on the Academy's significance both to its aspiring players and the wider club.

He said: "Outside of family and with everything that's going on, it's just the best thing in my life. It's fantastic. It's fantastic for everybody inside the club to see that progress. I hope it's fantastic for the supporters; this is something that will stand the club in good stead for the next 100 years.

"It's just an amazing facility. Everyone that's involved in it has done an outstanding job. Me and the shareholders in the club have obviously had to dip into our own resources to keep it going because of the [financial] losses but everyone's been unbelievably supportive of that.

"[Co-owners] Josh [Harris] and David [Blitzer] have been supportive of it, other smaller shareholders we've got, everybody understands that local players and local talent are the lifeblood of the football club."

Parish also told Palace's website: "From a footballing sense, it's already helping recruitment, helping retention. Everyone involved in our Academy can see the excellent groups we've got.

"Ten of the Academy [players] have been training with the first-team this week while everyone's been on international duty. I've had an hour-long conversation with Roy [Hodgson] about the kids in our Academy and what ones he thinks this [of] and that [of]. Can he develop this? Can he develop that?

"We have a manager who's already brought through Aaron Wan-Bissaka, already brought through Tyrick Mitchell... We don't want to put numbers or too much pressure on ourselves but I can't believe that facility won't help us attract, recruit and create more talent for the first-team and it will certainly help us help more kids in the community."

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Paul Vegas

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