It has taken over from arch rivals Ajax Amsterdam as the leading supplier of players for Netherlands youth teams, with more Feyenoord academy youngsters in the national under-18, under-19 and under-21 squads.
There are seven academy products in the Feyenoord first team, four of whom have become regulars in Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal's squad with two others, teenagers Jean Paul Boetius and Tonny Vilhena, also earning call-ups.
Feyenoord's management were forced to economise in 2010 when the club had a 40 million euro ($51.80 million) debt. There was no money to buy players and the club had to work with youngsters from the academy.
For the past eight years, the club's academy has been managed by former player Stanley Brard, who sat down with Reuters to talk about how the set-up works and what its aims are.
REUTERS: What did the financial problems the club faced some years ago mean for the youth academy?
BRARD: The financial problems of the club were a boost for our youth department as that gave our talents the chance to prove themselves.
But the talents have to be there and that is our job.
REUTERS: How does the co-operation work out between the technical staff of the first team and the youth department?
BRARD: Ronald Koeman (coach) and Martin van Geel (technical director) come here often and know which players we have over here.
But also the role of Koeman's assistant Jean Paul van Gastel, who knows all the ins and outs of the academy as he worked here for years, is very important. He knows how youth players are trained and developed and also knows the potential.
The focus of the club has changed in recent years. If the club need players for the first team Koeman and Van Geel will first look to see if players from the youth department are ready to make the step before they look outside the club.
The difference between the first team and the youth department is that they focus on results, while the individual player is central to us.
REUTERS: Can you explain the individual approach towards the youth player?
BRARD: We don't look at them as football players but as young men. It is not only about their development as player but also about how they do at school and in their normal lives at home.
We give them individual attention and also their parents. We help them with their education as we work with the Thorbecke Lyceum (school) to adjust the class hours to our training schedule.
We also provide information about agents to the players and their parents as in the recent past several youth players were drawn away by big clubs (for example Nathan Ake to Chelsea, Kyle Ebecilio to Arsenal)."
REUTERS: But how do you keep an eye on the individual situation outside the club?
BRARD: Our coaches are very alert about what is going on and we also stay in touch with their mentor at school.
For example, a few years ago I received information that one of our players, who was part of a national youth team that qualified for a Euro final tournament, displayed very bad behaviour at school.
For us that was a reason to withdraw him from the national youth squad and that decision was backed up by the KNVB (Dutch football association).
REUTERS: How does the youth department work and how is talent discovered and brought into the club?
BRARD: We work throughout the country with a team of scouts who have built an excellent relationship with most clubs.
If we see a player who might of interest for a certain position in the team for us we always inform his club first before we approach the player.
We focus on players who are 15-years-old or younger as we believe that is the maximum age they can join and be a success in our youth department, although there are some exceptions.
Because several players have made it to the first time, our youth department has become more interesting and now players and coaches throughout the country are approaching us instead of us approaching them.
In the past we also had foreign youth players but because of the financial woes of the club our budgets were reduced and we could not afford to house those players anymore. We not only develop players but also coaches.
REUTERS: Can you explain that?
BRARD: We wanted a coaching team in our academy with different competencies.
We want our youth players to work with several types of trainer. That is how we believe it works the best for the development of players.
That is also difficult as so many coaches have a different way of working but at the end of the day we all respect each other's opinion.
And we want coaches who know what is required to become a professional. So we have several former Feyenoord players working at the academy who specialise in the position of their playing days.
And Jean Paul van Gastel is an example of that. He worked at the academy for years and after coaching the under-19 team he was added to the technical staff of the first team.
REUTERS: At Ajax they have several foreign players coming through from their youth department in the last few years, so why only the focus on Dutch players (at Feyenoord)?
BRARD: That all had to do with the financial problems of the club. We also had our eye on those players but lacked the financial resources to add them to our youth department.
Ajax invested quite a lot of money in them. But that is also a big risk as you never know if it will pay off as the question is how will young players develop further in a different environment.
REUTERS: What is the main goal of the youth academy?
BRARD: We want to deliver two players each year to the first team - that is our main goal.
But we also want to improve several things, like nutrition for example.
But through the transfers of Georginio Wijnaldum (to PSV Eindhoven), Leroy Fer and Luc Castaignos (both to Twente Enschede) the value of the academy became clear and with all the talent in the first team right now and also in the national team the future looks good.
REUTERS: What does the youth department costs the club?
BRARD: We work with a budget of 2 million euros ($2.59 million) per year and we have 260 youth players.
($1 = 0.7722 euros)