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Simon Tracey & Dan Watson

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Welly Cobb
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« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2021, 08:26:37 am »

Other than Crewe (who are famed for their Academy System) and Colchester, those clubs are bigger than us in terms of infrastructure and fanbase though.
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« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2021, 09:47:19 am »

I think having an U23s is the way to go, maybe this is something Jon wants to see happen(ing) before agreeing to the job? 
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« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2021, 11:49:22 am »

Out of interest could you give us some examples? I've had a look and other than the U23s Premier league I'm not finding anything useful.. I think Coventry do, but then i'd not put them as a similar size club.
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Yes, Coventry have one. They have been very good at raising funding from local businesses to support theirs. Two of the nearest ones to us are MK Dons and Peterborough. Stevenage did have one but maybe that's changed because of financial problems. A lot of teams in the lower leagues do have an U23's. As already mentioned, Exeter have had fantastic success producing players for the first team and selling some of them on.
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« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2021, 13:27:07 pm »

Do reserve leagues still exist? Enjoyed some big reserve games with 4-5k attendances. Seeing David Seal scoring a few and still not get picked on the Saturday.
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« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2021, 15:09:10 pm »

Do reserve leagues still exist? Enjoyed some big reserve games with 4-5k attendances. Seeing David Seal scoring a few and still not get picked on the Saturday.

NTFC still play these but only a handful a season. Most against local rivals like Cambridge and MK.
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« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2021, 23:16:13 pm »

NTFC still play these but only a handful a season. Most against local rivals like Cambridge and MK.
What are the rules around us having a team in say the Southern League Division One Central? Or would that be pointless b0ll0cks?
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« Reply #46 on: May 08, 2021, 11:25:17 am »

NTFC still play these but only a handful a season. Most against local rivals like Cambridge and MK.
I thought these were behind closed doors Friendlies which is similar I suppose but not a structured league.
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« Reply #47 on: May 08, 2021, 12:44:44 pm »

I thought these were behind closed doors Friendlies which is similar I suppose but not a structured league.

Yes, behind closed doors, usually Moulton.
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« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2021, 13:14:38 pm »

Don't see much benefit in having an academy or reserve team at our level.

There's a nice romance to seeing youth players develop, but very rarely will players progress into the first team, and those with any real promise tend to get poached much earlier by the bigger clubs for pennies.

Brentford scrapped their reserves + academy, invested the money into the recruitment team, and have been able to perform above their level in recent years despite minimal net spend.
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« Reply #49 on: May 08, 2021, 15:59:50 pm »

Over the last couple of years we have seen a number of promising young players be offered pro terms. Some of those went on to make appearances for the first team, only for them to be released at the end of their contract.

Jay Williams is a prime example. A lot of fans felt he would go on to become a good player for us. But he then gets released.

We all know that the club aren't made of money and so the playing budget has to be used wisely. There is no room to give these youngsters enough time to prove themselves. With an under 23's or similar, we would be able to give these players more time to make the step up to the first team.

Sean McWilliams only managed to break through because the then chairman gave extra money, outside of the playing budget, to keep him at the club.

I doubt the club have the budget to create this step but without it I don't see how we will see improvements to the play pathway that will see more players breaking through to the first team and then staying in it.
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« Reply #50 on: May 09, 2021, 08:03:08 am »

Over the last couple of years we have seen a number of promising young players be offered pro terms. Some of those went on to make appearances for the first team, only for them to be released at the end of their contract.

Jay Williams is a prime example. A lot of fans felt he would go on to become a good player for us. But he then gets released.

We all know that the club aren't made of money and so the playing budget has to be used wisely. There is no room to give these youngsters enough time to prove themselves. With an under 23's or similar, we would be able to give these players more time to make the step up to the first team.

Sean McWilliams only managed to break through because the then chairman gave extra money, outside of the playing budget, to keep him at the club.

I doubt the club have the budget to create this step but without it I don't see how we will see improvements to the play pathway that will see more players breaking through to the first team and then staying in it.
Good point Charles. It seems to me that there hasnít been much thought to who we loan these players out to? Corby or Bedford probably, but basically anywhere that will have them? Part of this new process should involve sending them out to clubs who are the right ones for developing their game rather than any old club to get some game time? A real sense that they are valued and being nurtured rather than some lazy, half arsed gesture, going through the motions bus fare to Corby?
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« Reply #51 on: May 10, 2021, 14:21:06 pm »

It will depend on who will have them Melly. You've got to remember that these are young boys, some of which may not have a driving licence yet. It's unlikely that they'll be willing to move too far and there is also the thing of most non-league sides are part time. Our youngsters probably remain training with the youth team on the days when their senior, loan team don't.
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« Reply #52 on: May 10, 2021, 14:35:23 pm »

Over the last couple of years we have seen a number of promising young players be offered pro terms. Some of those went on to make appearances for the first team, only for them to be released at the end of their contract.

Jay Williams is a prime example. A lot of fans felt he would go on to become a good player for us. But he then gets released.

We all know that the club aren't made of money and so the playing budget has to be used wisely. There is no room to give these youngsters enough time to prove themselves. With an under 23's or similar, we would be able to give these players more time to make the step up to the first team.

Sean McWilliams only managed to break through because the then chairman gave extra money, outside of the playing budget, to keep him at the club.

I doubt the club have the budget to create this step but without it I don't see how we will see improvements to the play pathway that will see more players breaking through to the first team and then staying in it.

Couldn't agree more with this. The above managed to get picked up by another L2 club so will probably play against us next season. When Coventry were skint they kept their U23's going as they are sponsored by local businesses. Isn't there anyone at our club who can find local businesses to sponsor an U23's? If not, why not? How do the likes of Exeter do it?
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« Reply #53 on: May 10, 2021, 15:13:31 pm »

Couldn't agree more with this. The above managed to get picked up by another L2 club so will probably play against us next season. When Coventry were skint they kept their U23's going as they are sponsored by local businesses. Isn't there anyone at our club who can find local businesses to sponsor an U23's? If not, why not? How do the likes of Exeter do it?

The problem with under23's at our level is that by the time a player gets to 20/21, if they haven't made it into the first team then its unlikely they ever will. So the under23's team is essentially an under18's team with maybe 3 or 4 max 19 year olds in it.

Far better that these lads are loaned out to non league teams and they get to play 'proper football'. Bridging the gap between under18's to under23's is very costly, the higher up you go in the leagues the more benefit having one (23's team) is though obviously.

You mention Exeter - just googled them - not sure if its accurate but if it is then they don't exactly play many fixtures! https://uk.soccerway.com/teams/england/exeter-city-u23/40148/

Essentially, there is a gap at our level (generally) where a player that gets to 19 and isn't quite good enough for first team, hasn't anywhere to go within the youth structure. So he basically has to go out on loan. This season those feeder leagues all stopped early after hardly playing, and that has been the case now for 15 months so its become a real problem, very much caused by Covid. Will be more like 18 months when the season re-starts, thats almost a generation of young pro's that are struggling to progress for no fault of their own.

You may get a business/s to sponsor it, but that would only be money they'd have spent sponsoring something else at the club. So no extra revenue would be generated, as such. Just a cost base added for very little potential benefit.

I've seen reports that Sunderland are looking at a couple of our young lads, but Sunderland (league1 they may well be) are a totally different level to us financially so its non comparable. They were in the prem not too long ago.

I don't think the issue is with our academy as such, more a case that short termism is always a key element to decision making by whoever the manager is. Chuck didn't even start yesterday, no idea why not, but unless these prospects are given a run in the first team then they will never 'make it' with us. Its almost like we need to have a policy where the manager has to pick 2 academy lads in the starting line up! Because they will always go for the tried and tested players, even if they are not performing well.

A classic example is Ivan Toney. Wilder stuck by Sinclair right until half time against Pompey, 2.5 games before the season ended. He'd been useless for weeks yet kept getting picked. Toney was finally given his chance, the rest as they say is history. If Sinclair had tapped in a goal that half v Pompey, he would have no doubt played at Dagenham and we'd most likely of gone down!!

Why's Bolger been on the bench in recent weeks, when Max Dyche hasn't?

Im not critising Brady by the way, either. I just 'don't really get it'. We have ALWAYS favoured old expensive donkeys over our own prospects whoever has been the manager. Im not saying we should take risks or play kids for the sake of it, but when you've got subs that are never going to come onto the pitch unless we get an injury/sending off, then I see no point why they are even on the bench. Those sub spots would surely be better taken by young prospects?

Sorry for the long post, Ill get back to my day job now!  Grin



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« Reply #54 on: May 10, 2021, 15:28:12 pm »

Agree with you about Chucks not starting being strange unless the club knows heís got better offers and will leave. Miller will return to Rotherham and has been a disappointment, Marshall has been more miss than hit and will almost definitely be released. The only one of the front 3 staying is Rose who looks like a poor mans Sam Hoskins!.
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« Reply #55 on: May 10, 2021, 15:35:32 pm »

The problem with under23's at our level is that by the time a player gets to 20/21, if they haven't made it into the first team then its unlikely they ever will. So the under23's team is essentially an under18's team with maybe 3 or 4 max 19 year olds in it.

Far better that these lads are loaned out to non league teams and they get to play 'proper football'. Bridging the gap between under18's to under23's is very costly, the higher up you go in the leagues the more benefit having one (23's team) is though obviously.

You mention Exeter - just googled them - not sure if its accurate but if it is then they don't exactly play many fixtures! https://uk.soccerway.com/teams/england/exeter-city-u23/40148/

Essentially, there is a gap at our level (generally) where a player that gets to 19 and isn't quite good enough for first team, hasn't anywhere to go within the youth structure. So he basically has to go out on loan. This season those feeder leagues all stopped early after hardly playing, and that has been the case now for 15 months so its become a real problem, very much caused by Covid. Will be more like 18 months when the season re-starts, thats almost a generation of young pro's that are struggling to progress for no fault of their own.

You may get a business/s to sponsor it, but that would only be money they'd have spent sponsoring something else at the club. So no extra revenue would be generated, as such. Just a cost base added for very little potential benefit.

I've seen reports that Sunderland are looking at a couple of our young lads, but Sunderland (league1 they may well be) are a totally different level to us financially so its non comparable. They were in the prem not too long ago.

I don't think the issue is with our academy as such, more a case that short termism is always a key element to decision making by whoever the manager is. Chuck didn't even start yesterday, no idea why not, but unless these prospects are given a run in the first team then they will never 'make it' with us. Its almost like we need to have a policy where the manager has to pick 2 academy lads in the starting line up! Because they will always go for the tried and tested players, even if they are not performing well.

A classic example is Ivan Toney. Wilder stuck by Sinclair right until half time against Pompey, 2.5 games before the season ended. He'd been useless for weeks yet kept getting picked. Toney was finally given his chance, the rest as they say is history. If Sinclair had tapped in a goal that half v Pompey, he would have no doubt played at Dagenham and we'd most likely of gone down!!

Why's Bolger been on the bench in recent weeks, when Max Dyche hasn't?

Im not critising Brady by the way, either. I just 'don't really get it'. We have ALWAYS favoured old expensive donkeys over our own prospects whoever has been the manager. Im not saying we should take risks or play kids for the sake of it, but when you've got subs that are never going to come onto the pitch unless we get an injury/sending off, then I see no point why they are even on the bench. Those sub spots would surely be better taken by young prospects?

Sorry for the long post, Ill get back to my day job now!  Grin



Agree with the first bit but it is crucial to give these young players time to develop. Like in any sport, different players will develop at different rates. I still think an U23's is serving its purpose if we know by the age of 21, whether or not, a player is going to make it or not. If you are going to send young players on loan, the club needs to have some input in this, rather than leave it to the first team manager. I trust JB to do the right thing but that can't be said for all managers. I agree about Toney. Was at the game when Sinclair ducked out of scoring into an empty net. To be fair to Wilder, to a point, a lot of other managers still wouldn't have bought Toney on in the 2nd half of that game.


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