Every time you bet at Baggies Lotto you help to fund the good work of The West Bromwich Albion Academy, helping to develop the next Saido Berahino, Liam O'Neil or Adil Nabi. The West Bromwich Albion Academy recently formally opened its new building on Halfords Lane, with FA Director of Elite Development, Dan Ashworth in attendance. The project is a subject close to Ashworth's heart.
Back in his days as Albion's Academy manager, it was Ashworth's quest to raise the club's youth development programme to the Category One level it now enjoys. "I think it was the year of the Great Escape when we got started," the former Sporting and Technical Director told guests.
"In those days, we had to beg, steal and borrow whatever we could get for training - believe it or not, we even had to put sessions on at Aston Villa leisure centre because we were so short of facilities.
"It's absolutely fantastic now to visit this site and see what the club has developed. Bit by bit, the club has added to the facility with the Dome and the outdoor pitches and now this refurbished building. It is superb.
"At England, we regard Albion as one of the most successful clubs for providing age group internationals which is testament to the staff who work under Mark Harrison. This building is now the icing on the cake - a fantastic effort by everyone."
The Academy centre's opening comes at an exciting time for the club and Harrison's Academy staff whose young proteges are making a name for themselves. The Nabi brothers, Adil and Samir, are the free-scoring talk of the Under 21 team, a clutch of their colleagues are out on loan at various Football League levels while Saido Berahino has completed an incredible year in which he has risen from promising striker to a member of Roy Hodgson's England squad.
All club proceeds from Baggies Lotto are assigned directly to support the Baggies players of the future. For each lotto bet placed, this equates to 26% (39p) of your purchase.