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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #975 on: January 06, 2019, 08:31:01 PM »
All I can think of is that with Hegazi injured, DM didn't want Dawson to even have to sit on the bench ahead of the Norwich game.
Think DM also said something about getting some of the youngsters back to check on their fitness/progress....even if they are going straight back out it seems.

Offline Baggies

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #976 on: January 06, 2019, 09:48:54 PM »
I can't really speak with any authority as it could be a real positive for Moore to get to train with him for a few days, plus show Fitzwater that he is being considered and isn't forgotten (Tyler Roberts after all got fed up and decided to leave, and is now a first team option for table topping Leeds, having started again today).

As I said before though, i'm not convinced having him an an unused sub is that wise. Moore could have just gone to observe Fitzwater at a Walsall training session to show Fitzwater that he is valued.  Would rather we had started him if we were going to call him back.
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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #977 on: January 07, 2019, 09:17:43 PM »
Another loss for the under 23's - this time to Wolves. Set to be bottom of the table again - making us the worst placed academy in the EPPP A class for a second year on the trot I think?
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Offline Dan

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #978 on: January 07, 2019, 09:40:06 PM »
Another loss for the under 23's - this time to Wolves. Set to be bottom of the table again - making us the worst placed academy in the EPPP A class for a second year on the trot I think?

The club needs to sort it out with the academy above the age of 16, a tonne of recent England youth internationals around then and the academy rapidly declines.

The club defends this by saying we play younger players at these academy age groups, but clearly the lack of development suggests this is not a good tactic. The academy has got neither results or development right above scholboy ages.

Offline wba_1996

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #979 on: January 08, 2019, 12:20:14 AM »
I fully accept that our U23 side is very young and that we're going to lose a lot of games playing mostly against older sides. I also understand that we let a number of the more established players go out on loan (Fitzwater, Wilson, O'Shea) and those that don't appear good enough are let go early enough to forge a career in the lower leagues (Mantom, Garmston, Donnellan).

The issue I have is that we have a group of our most promising academy players (Field, Harper, Leko, Edwards) (+ Tyler Roberts last season) who train and are heavily involved with the first team yet never get a chance to play, not even off the bench. We appear reluctant to loan them out. And they rarely even play for the U23s incase they are needed in the first team squad, Edwards was the only one involved tonight and he bagged a brace. They don't seem to be getting any game time at either level, except when they are wheeled out for the early rounds of the cup where their performances seem to have no bearing on whether they are picked again.

I'd have all of them out on loan tomorrow, except Harper, who should be starting in Livermore's absence.

Offline Albion79

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #980 on: January 08, 2019, 03:06:28 PM »
I think there is more to it with young players than just saying give them a chance, they have to be in a position to be good enough to be given that chance and as much as i want them to be, i am not sure some of our youngsters are.

We do play young players, we needed a attack minded player, if Leko was better than Barnes, we wouldnt of signed Barnes, we needed a defender, if Fitzwater was better than Tosin, we wouldnt of signed Tosin, reality is right now our own players arent good enough for us, they may or may not be in the future.

Players develop at different stages, when we see them for the first time as its somebody new its exciting, Oliver Burke is a great example, three years ago he made 10 starts for Forest, burst onto the scene, since then he has moved for £25m in transfer fees, played under at least 6 different managers (including Salzburg and availability for Scotland national team, a nation not exactly blessed with a large pool of players let alone young ones)

In the two and half years since his initial impact, Burke made less than 10 starts, Are all 6 managers wrong or has he maybe just not developed from his initial impact? Same applies to Leko and Field for us, they burst onto the scene a few years ago but a number of managers have since decided that they arent good enough right now.

And thats the key, you can be the best at youth / academy level, you can stand out a mile, you can have that initial impact when you move up but when it comes to the day to day battle for a shirt to make yourself a regular, maintaining your initial standards, competing against seasoned pro's, when its dog eat dog, thats when the best players shine through and continue, football has thousands of players who have burst onto the scene who stood out a mile but after a while faded into oblivion or dropped down the leagues.

Field is a interesting one as when Big Dave took over he had a free hit, we were going to be relegated, we had a centre midfielder injured - Barry, another who was booed Livermore (taxi gate) and another who was bang out of form (Greg). Moore had worked with Field at every level from youth, to academy, to pro, we were crying out for a centre midfielder, we had a young one (Field) who would of got the fans onside, the manager knew him better than anyone, it was a no risk option, yet Mooro decided to instead convert a left sided player into that role.

That maybe suggests that Field just isnt good enough, whatever the rights or wrongs, Moore went with Brunt and he was part of a team that nearly pulled off the greatest of great escapes which shows that Moore was right. The issue Field has got is that he currently plays in a position we arent desperate for - a sitting midfielder. We have an inform Barry, Brunt (though i dont think he should be there) and even Livermore can play there, Harper on the other hand is a box to box energetic midfielder, exactly what we have needed so the way he plays is what we need. If we had a midfield full of Mulumbu types and needed 'a sitter' then Harper wouldnt be as in demand as he is now and Field would be the one getting the attention for the role.

Its not just Albion, Villa have Grealish a regular, they have a few others who are fringe players, Wolves have Gibbs-White, again they have others who are squad players, they are exactly the same as us, the best players will make it, lots of players will be talked up and hyped but managers and coaches see them every day and only the odd one makes it as a regular.

I know people keep saying about Tyler Roberts but he has been left a year now and at the time of writing he hasnt done anything of note at Leeds, of course that may well change but its too early to say we should of done more to keep him or it was a mistake as there is nothing yet to suggest thats the case.

The young lads who went to bigger clubs - Izzy Brown - had success in the champ when we were in the prem, Dhanda is now at Swansea and i think played one or two games, Sinclair is at Sunderland in league one.

You get the odd ones who come and bounce back, Roofe at Leeds and Wood at Burnley but both those had to drop down a league or two then work there way back which against suggests where Albion were at the time, they werent good enough, and i bet for every Roofe / Wood there is 5 or 6 players of that time who were highly rated who have dropped down the leagues (Nabi, Daniels, Manton, Garmston all spring to mind straight away) and the same may apply to our current crop in the future too.

Now and again you get a crop of youngsters at the top level (and until last season thats where we were and where we are high in the league pushing towards going again) but most clubs get the odd youngster every season or two who make it, our last was Berahino, the next looks like being Harper, in a season or two's time we will probably have another group who come through where only one, maybe two will make it with us, the rest will drop down, its just how youth and football work.

Look at the likes of Kane Wilson, two seasons ago he was on the bench for premier league games, came close to being our youngest player, now he has been recalled from Walsall and last season he wasnt a regular in a league two side. That would suggest that at the moment his development has stalled, its not the club or the players fault, its just human nature, players just develop at different times and most of the time dont fulfill their promise they show at 16 or 17,  Wilson may kick on again or he may of found he isnt upto top level football despite the early promise, its not their fault, its just the way it is.

Personally i dont like the under 23's, i preferred the old pontins league but i suppose as the national teams are doing well at all levels, the system would appear to be working on that score.

However that is the elite level, what i dont like about the under 23's is you get players signing scholarships and pro contracts very young and on big money when they often have just burst on the scene and not really proven much, the club wants to protect their asset and the player isnt going to turn down a load of money!

Again using Burke as an example, he is probably on at least £20k a week with Albion, if your moving for £15m then your entitled to say i am worth x amount. There will be loads of young pros in the top two leagues especially who have signed pro at 17 or 18 and are now 20 / 21 and have hardly played any senior football in the two or three years previous, just under 23's, some will of burst on the scene and for whatever reason not kicked on, others will be happy saying they are a footballer and all the attention and perks that goes with without hardly kicking a ball competitively.

So your are a young bloke earning more money than makes sense and not really ever playing football, you have a lot of spare time, few commitments and more money than you could ever dream of, its what happens then decides if your good enough, the players who go on to play top level are the ones who see past the distractions and still make sure football comes first, some realise eventually after a few years, others just never realise at all and end up dropping down the leagues.

Out our current crop of youngters (Harper, Field, Leko, Edwards Wilson, Fitzwater, O Shea, Howkins, Palmer (i wont include Burke) my guess would be one maybe two will make it at the Albion, one will drop down and then get back to a similar level as Albion (based on where we are now - premier / championship) and the rest will play lower league football or abroad at a lower standard and as a approximate numbers guide thats how most academies will work in the top two leagues, not just Albion.

If there is hope that these players can go on and play regularly at champ level at least (not just the odd cup game every few months) then they have to be loaned out, except for possibly Harper who seems to be close to actually playing. They have to have the weekly pressure where results count and the intensity of the training, matchdays, etc that all that brings.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 03:16:05 PM by Albion79 »

Offline Dan

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #981 on: January 08, 2019, 04:38:42 PM »
If they merely aren't anywhere near good enough as you summise then why are they being kept around in the first place? Moore even said he doesn't trust players till they have 75 appearances. Barnes managed to get most of that on loans elsewhere. Field and Harper won't get that because he never plays them, nor will he loan them out.

I find it difficult to believe that some of these players are considered among the best of their age group by England - namely Harper and Field, yet can't get any minutes in a distinctly average central midfield. The managers we've had have all been of a very safety first mentality. It's ok if Brunt has 10 bad games in central midfield, but God forbid one of the youth players have one there. We can't even risk that happening.

Offline Albion79

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #982 on: January 08, 2019, 05:38:34 PM »
I didnt say they wasnt anywhere near good enough, but there are loads of posts about moore wont play youth, will only pick his mates, etc when there is the option that they just arent good enough based on the reasons given, ie - he does pick youth - barnes and tosin and that he has worked with our own youth players at every level so knows more about them than pretty much any manager we could have, yet still doesnt pick them.

I think he actually said along the lines of your classed as a footballer when you have played 75 times which is a fair point, there are thousands of players who burst on the scene at loads of clubs, play a few games then are never heard of again, i interepeted his comments as when you have played 75 games you will of gained experience, made mistakes, found a position (most likely) but you are still playing football.

For what its worth as a fan i would love Harper to start saturday and given a run of games, i would also like to of seen Field played instead of Brunt but i also dont know them or see them but the person who does, may just think they arent good enough and there isnt some conspiracy againsts our own youth players.

Maybe the last few months he has been assessing them but i completely agree that if it is the case he doesnt think they are good enough then he should loan or sell them for their own benefit, not just keep them hanging around incase.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 05:41:09 PM by Albion79 »

Offline Baggies

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #983 on: January 08, 2019, 05:56:34 PM »
You do make some great points albion79, but there are still some counter arguments, as Dan says. If we don't think they are good enough yet, get them out on loan (although from your post, it seems you don't disagree with that).

The arguments here aren't just about "giving them a chance ", they are about the clubs approach to developing players. Since it started around 15 years ago, we have still only brought through 1 player through our first team - Saido Berahino. Despite that, there is a realistic possibility of 4 Albion academy graduates playing premier league football next season (Wood, Roofe, Roberts - still only 19 and just off the back of a MoTM performance for them in the cup, plus Izzy Brown if he can get over his injury problems and have a good second half of the season at Leeds).

That is the first alarm bell - the ratios seem a bit out.

The 2nd as Dan has aluded to is that at under 20 level and below, Albion are still producing more England youth internationals than near enough any team our size. Only the big guns and Everton have more. Despite this, our teams at under 23 level are consistently beaten, we have never threatened to win the FA Youth cup, and we have cycled through around 3-4 different groups of academy players in 10 years who have all alarmingly dropped off after emerging into our 16-21 development phase (this includes a number of England youth internationals like the Nabi brothers, Amenku, Thorne, Hurst, Alliyu, Garmston from top of head, plus a number of Gk's like Rose who had caps). It's possible that there is a pro Albion bias in the youth selection set up which skews the numbers - Ashworth, Downing and Boothroyd all had a big hand in developing our academy and are now all in positions of power.

It might just be however that at schoolboy level, our sides are the best around and the decline happens once they reach our full time academy - a second alarm bell.

Clubs like Blues, Norwich, Palace and Villa are all getting more kids through their first teams, despite having less youth internationals. Dowling, as technical director, needs to get a handle on why we are stalling. I don't know if it means loaning players out earlier, changing our culture by getting managers to give more opportunities, improving the structure at 16-21 level, or maybe even looking at the schoolboy level (are we falling into a trap of signing those who have jst developed physically quicker). After 15 years though, I was hoping for us to develop at least 1 premier league quality kid every few years and a few championship quality ones as well.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 05:59:59 PM by Baggies »
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Offline Dan

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #984 on: January 08, 2019, 06:25:33 PM »
It's also worth pointing out that we've given just 192 minutes in the league to academy products this season. For academy players 21 or unde, this is the second lowest in the top half of the league (it may well be the second lowest in the league, I haven't checked the bottom half).

Every other team aside from Sheffield United in the top 12 has an academy product regularly starting, so we cannot use the excuse that its the pressure of promotion. In which case, the options are we have either one of the worst academies in the league, or else its a problem with the clubs mentality on handling and playing youth players.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 06:37:44 PM by Dan »

Offline Albion79

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #985 on: January 08, 2019, 06:43:46 PM »
Yeah i agree with you both (baggies and dan) on a number of points, i was just adding about this current crop not playing and maybe not been good enough yet.

I said in a post months ago i didnt like our under 23’s approach, losing every week is no good for anybody (saying that i think we won about 5 games on the trot after that!) if the likes of field, leko, etc are still here they should be playing every week for the under 23’s along with the better players from younger groups (who also have their own age groups, under 18’s)

I have never understood the clubs logic of playing the really young ones and watching them lose every week, you do it too often it becomes a habit and as you rightly point out only 1 player in years (big fat saido) has actually become a albion regular.

We do seem good at schoolboy level and we do produce a number of players who play national youth level and who then go on to make careers mainly at lower level, but with Darren Moore having worked at that level and now possibly not thinking the current group are good enough to be picked reguarly i would be reviewing our academy setup a bit and how its benefitting albion in creating first team players for us.

What worries me is that if one manager came in and had no interest in youth then fair enough but i cant remember one albion manager since the academy thing was created playing youngsters reguarly except for a few seasons with berahino and i dont think all those managers can be wrong including the current one who knows them better than most.

I would hope as stated above that Dowling is looking at this and find out why we get fewer players than most other clubs who are deemed good enough to play regularly.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 06:46:14 PM by Albion79 »

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #986 on: January 08, 2019, 07:06:55 PM »
If they merely aren't anywhere near good enough as you summise then why are they being kept around in the first place? Moore even said he doesn't trust players till they have 75 appearances. Barnes managed to get most of that on loans elsewhere. Field and Harper won't get that because he never plays them, nor will he loan them out.

I find it difficult to believe that some of these players are considered among the best of their age group by England - namely Harper and Field, yet can't get any minutes in a distinctly average central midfield. The managers we've had have all been of a very safety first mentality. It's ok if Brunt has 10 bad games in central midfield, but God forbid one of the youth players have one there. We can't even risk that happening.
This is the bit that annoys me also....the seeming lack of trust in younger players as though we can't possibly risk giving one of them a couple of games unless we absolutely have to. It does seem to be a mindset of our managers and I'm afraid, although I like DM, he has so far been the worst at this especially given that we've dropped down a level. Field didn't look out of place in the prem (he had a niggling calf injury at the end of last season by the way, which may have ruined his immediate chances with Moore). Harper is a slightly different case as he's gone through a positional change converting from striker to CM/AM in the last 2 or 3 years but he really needs to be given more game time now. Leko or Edwards should have been on the bench (and on the pitch during 2nd half) against Brentford but we preferred to load the bench with ageing midfielders, Mears and Harper who was never going to get on.

Offline seteefeet

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #987 on: January 09, 2019, 09:04:38 AM »
What we forget, at times, is that we are doing very well. I don't think we've been outside the top 7 all season, other than day 1.
Yes, pretty much all of us could see that Brunt in CM and Bartley on the left of a back 3 was not ideal, but, like it or not, we were still getting results and our league position held up. Once we hit the skids and results started to suffer Moore reacted and changed both of the above along with the formation. Again, we could argue that Field should have replaced Brunt a this point, but he didn't, Barry did and did exceptionally well and, again, results backed it up and we moved up the league.
The point I'm making is that Moore only seems to react when results or circumstances dictate. To this end Harper may well get his chance in Livermore's absence and, I truly believe that, if he does well and we get results, he will hold onto the shirt. If, however, Morrison comes in and we get results, the same will apply.
Personally, I think we've seen all we're going to see from Mozza and his M.O of 1 good game in 4 is more evident than ever, so would like Harper to get the nod but, whatever Moore decides, as long as we get results he'll get my support.

I have no answer to the lack of opportunity from the bench though. There are times when Edwards, Leko, Harper and even Burke, would have been a far more logical option and i hope this is something we address in the 2nd half of the season. If not, then yes, they should go out on loan.

Offline OldburyWBA

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #988 on: January 10, 2019, 05:23:19 PM »
http://sportwitness.co.uk/youngster-snubs-west-brom-stoke-city-deal-agreed-father-tells-reason-behind-potters-move/

Young keeper has rejected us for Stoke as he feels as an Academy player his development will be better as Stoke also promote from within more

At the age of 15, Maksymilian Boruc made his senior team debut for lower league Swedish club IFK Värnamo.
 
According to Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy, the goalkeeper caught the attention of clubs from England, Germany and Italy and had trials with Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Schalke and Torino.

Now 16, Boruc has snubbed the Baggies and other clubs in order to join the Potters, with whom he has signed a two-and-a-half year deal, and this decision was taken after the teenager consulted with his family.

It is explained the youngster’s family believes a club like Stoke would be an ideal place for the development of the player, and his father explains in detail that the Championship side’s transfer policy was a factor in his son’s decision to join them.

“From the point of view of a keeper, it’s an ideal situation, because there will be a lot of work. Stoke focuses on young players, the U23 goalkeepers train every day with the first team,” Paul Boruc stressed.

“There is a prospect that if everything goes in the right direction, Stoke is not a club that would suddenly buy a goalkeeper for several million pounds, but would prefer to promote players from the academy.”

An interesting fact mentioned in the report is that Maksymilian is a distant cousin of Bournemouth shot stopper Artur Boruc, but the two have not spoken to each other as they’ve had an opportunity to meet so far.
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Offline Hunnington Baggie

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #989 on: January 10, 2019, 05:47:33 PM »
I’d also argue we’re pretty stocked on keepers, what with Alex Palmer, Jasko Keranovic, Adam Przybek, Ethan Ross, Brad House and Ben Pierce as well as Ted Cann and Josh Griffiths all in and around the u23’s and U18’s.

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #990 on: January 16, 2019, 08:40:17 AM »
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/bundesliga-jadon-sancho-callum-hudson-odoi-premier-league-transfer-news-epl-a8729736.html

Article in today's independant by their chief footvall writer Miguel Delaney about how the Bundesliga getting Sancho and now chasing Hudson-Odoi is just the start. He has listed 14 players Bundesliga scouts are taking a particular interest in.

16 year old Morgan Rodgers and 15 year old Louie Barry from our academy are 2 of those 14.

We need to prove soon that qe are a good "finishing school" as we do seem to be producing a type of player that is highly sought after.
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Offline johnny Cash

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #991 on: January 16, 2019, 10:06:14 AM »
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/bundesliga-jadon-sancho-callum-hudson-odoi-premier-league-transfer-news-epl-a8729736.html

Article in today's independant by their chief footvall writer Miguel Delaney about how the Bundesliga getting Sancho and now chasing Hudson-Odoi is just the start. He has listed 14 players Bundesliga scouts are taking a particular interest in.

16 year old Morgan Rodgers and 15 year old Louie Barry from our academy are 2 of those 14.

We need to prove soon that qe are a good "finishing school" as we do seem to be producing a type of player that is highly sought after.

I'm a hypocrite, so if it didn't suggest a negative effect on us I would say brilliant! It would be great to see more young English players at the top levels around the world and it has to benefit the national team. Good luck to the young lads who choose to take the move.

I'm sure it will push English clubs in to giving them more opportunities too (and probably fatter contracts). The players should have little bit of caution as well, Sancho cost £8m and went virtually straight in so is clearly an exceptional talent. I am sure even at 95% of English clubs he would have been braking through now. 


Offline Mister AT

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #992 on: January 16, 2019, 10:24:05 AM »
I'm a hypocrite, so if it didn't suggest a negative effect on us I would say brilliant! It would be great to see more young English players at the top levels around the world and it has to benefit the national team. Good luck to the young lads who choose to take the move.

I'm sure it will push English clubs in to giving them more opportunities too (and probably fatter contracts). The players should have little bit of caution as well, Sancho cost £8m and went virtually straight in so is clearly an exceptional talent. I am sure even at 95% of English clubs he would have been braking through now.

Its 100% a route the young generation should be looking at. Fair play to Reece Oxford, Nelson and Sancho for moving over to Germany to get some game time.

Sancho's progression may benefit the English national squad in the long run, for younger age groups (i.e the 21's,19's,18's) are all progressing in major tournaments and winning trophies. There has to be a route to first team football for them to succeed. Sancho has built a platform now and proved that there are clubs willing to give you game time (it would have been easy for him to stay at City and get the odd cup appearance).

The likes of Brewster at Liverpool, Smith-Rowe at Arsenal etc will be the next batch of youngsters who must make the decision to go and get first team football and show their talent.

EDIT: I had a quick google of 'promising young English footballers' and was surprised to see that there are some youngsters have moved abroad already that I hadn't heard of:

Reo Griffiths - Lyon (left Spurs academy)
Keanen Bennetts - Borrusia Monchengladbach (left Spurs)
Ronaldo Vieira - Sampdoria
Marcus McGuane - Barcelona
Jonathan Panzo - Monaco
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Offline SmethDan

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #993 on: January 16, 2019, 03:07:13 PM »
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/bundesliga-jadon-sancho-callum-hudson-odoi-premier-league-transfer-news-epl-a8729736.html

Article in today's independant by their chief footvall writer Miguel Delaney about how the Bundesliga getting Sancho and now chasing Hudson-Odoi is just the start. He has listed 14 players Bundesliga scouts are taking a particular interest in.

16 year old Morgan Rodgers and 15 year old Louie Barry from our academy are 2 of those 14.

We need to prove soon that qe are a good "finishing school" as we do seem to be producing a type of player that is highly sought after.

Interesting piece from the BBC regarding Brentford and academies if you've got a couple of minutes.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46864784
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Offline wba_1996

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #994 on: January 16, 2019, 03:47:20 PM »
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/bundesliga-jadon-sancho-callum-hudson-odoi-premier-league-transfer-news-epl-a8729736.html

Article in today's independant by their chief footvall writer Miguel Delaney about how the Bundesliga getting Sancho and now chasing Hudson-Odoi is just the start. He has listed 14 players Bundesliga scouts are taking a particular interest in.

16 year old Morgan Rodgers and 15 year old Louie Barry from our academy are 2 of those 14.

We need to prove soon that qe are a good "finishing school" as we do seem to be producing a type of player that is highly sought after.

Great article. I think the following quote sums up the biggest problem that has faced the English national team for the past few years:  Many who work on the continent simply can’t believe how wedded English clubs are to a hierarchical system regarding age. It is like they get hung up on it, and won’t trust an 18-year-old if they can bring in a 21-year-old. The director of football at a Ligue 1 club confided that, “we can’t believe some of the quality English clubs have and don’t use. Age doesn’t come into it with us, it’s just about level of quality.

We're seeing exactly the same at Albion this window, Rekeem Harper has a high ceiling of potential yet we're interested in signing Isaac Hayden from Newcastle. Thankfully European clubs are willing to give English players a chance, it will pay off for the England team over the next few years.

Offline Baggies

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #995 on: January 17, 2019, 08:07:16 AM »
Interesting piece from the BBC regarding Brentford and academies if you've got a couple of minutes.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46864784

Fascinating. So much to read in to that story, but the overwhelming one is that Brentford are the best run club in England. 2 directors of football, innovative data crunching and a different view to academy football. Worth noting Forss, the youth striker who played for the first team in the cup this year is ex Albion.

It also shows the effects of EPPP. Smaller clubs will see less worth in keeping a youth team structure and will instead scrap them and simply focus on becoming "finishing schools" for those who get released from the top academies. That could become a positive in some ways - less players would end up wasting time in youth football only to fall onto the scrapheap at 19 or 20 without much idea of what to do next, while the top youngsters benefit from the best youth coaching and then get a second chance at the clubs outside the "elite plan". Most countries don't have as many individual clubs as us so it could be the way to go.

I just wish we could be as innovative. I don't think we should scrap our academy as we have gone too far down the EPPP now so we will hopefully produce more players from a younger age, but it shows there are lots of different ideas out there if you are prepared to try. Brentford have hired coaches from abroad, while we have had a stream of English coaches. Foreign doesn't = better all of the time, but it does sometimes show a club has gone out and headhunted somebody with different ideas rather than just looking at what is available locally.

We could learn a lot from Brentford.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 08:09:19 AM by Baggies »
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Offline seteefeet

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #996 on: January 17, 2019, 09:22:09 AM »
Great article. I think the following quote sums up the biggest problem that has faced the English national team for the past few years:  Many who work on the continent simply can’t believe how wedded English clubs are to a hierarchical system regarding age. It is like they get hung up on it, and won’t trust an 18-year-old if they can bring in a 21-year-old. The director of football at a Ligue 1 club confided that, “we can’t believe some of the quality English clubs have and don’t use. Age doesn’t come into it with us, it’s just about level of quality.

We're seeing exactly the same at Albion this window, Rekeem Harper has a high ceiling of potential yet we're interested in signing Isaac Hayden from Newcastle. Thankfully European clubs are willing to give English players a chance, it will pay off for the England team over the next few years.
I would say this has also held back the national side. Too much reliance on "experience" and top 6 bias.

Offline Baggies

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #997 on: January 18, 2019, 08:26:08 AM »
Albion through to 5th round of FA Youth cup after beating QPR 5-1. Soule with 2, Tulloch with 2 and Rodgers with 1 from outside box (Rodgers also hit bar from outside box in first half).

With Soule, Tulloch, Rodgers and Barry all getting game time yesterday, it looks like we are continuingto produce a consistent number if top young English strikers.

As is typical, despite their being a number of smaller sides left in the competition, we have drawn Arsenal at the emirates.

Likely there will be a live stream link for the game.

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Offline OldburyWBA

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #998 on: January 20, 2019, 12:11:50 PM »
Everton ready to approach Steve Hopcroft, our Head of Academy

https://thisisfutbol.com/2019/01/blogs/everton-approach-west-brom-over-hopcroft/

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Offline Peachofacross

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Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« Reply #999 on: January 20, 2019, 01:34:04 PM »
Everton ready to approach Steve Hopcroft, our Head of Academy

https://thisisfutbol.com/2019/01/blogs/everton-approach-west-brom-over-hopcroft/

This would be a massive blow. He is the jewel in our crown when discussing our academy.

He was approached and turned down Man Utd so I'm hoping he'll do the same if approached.

You only have to watch is recent in-depth interviews he's done on YouTube to see what a class operator he is.