Let me put my two penneth in about our academy. I have witnessed for years the academy set up personally. The reason for which everyone says that leeds or the grunters get all the best local players is simple. They dont. It is how the kids are coached right from u8 to u18. Take a look at footage from u18 games against teams like man utd and compare the style of play in which they play. I know people are going to say 'yeah but thats man u' but take a look at lesser teams suck as crewe , leeds, and southampton. Southampton are forever producing tidy footballers that are worth a few bob. Maybe if we took kids at young age and they were coached properly and encouraged to pass the ball around to each other instead of been encouraged to play the balls from back to front into the corners, have the striker chase it down and win a throw in up the pitch, then the players we prodce would not all be 6ft plus centre halfs who can head it and kick it.
It seems to me also that any kid with abit of flair and skill is dismissed at a younger age by our academy maybe because hes smaller and not as strong. Almost frowned upon even. Coaches would rather push forward the bigger players who have matured quicker because they fit into the style of play of percentage football.
So then the better gifted footballers leave n get signed for another academy. Then what happens when these kids are developed and just as strong as the percentage footballers but can also move the ball around better.
It all boils down to one thing at the end of the day. A lack of adequate coaches from u8 right to the u18s. Our academy is coached the whole way through by coaches who wouldn't know a decent footballer if he walked up and smacked him in nose.
The only way to change this is a long process, clear all the coaches out and find ones that know the game and encourage it to be played properly. Maybe then our kids might stand a chance of been able to carve themself a decent career out of the game instead of just making the numbers up in the academy league.
Maybe the reason why utds kid and ours played the same alfreton side and our got thumped and utds didnt is because utd play better football. If utd played rubbish football and turned the game into more of a physical battle like ours play football theyd have been smashed aswell.
My personal opinion of the academy is it needs a complete clearout of the coaching staff and needs higher quality coaches brought in. If there isnt enough funding for this then it might aswell be scrapped because all we will be doing is putting out a side in the academy league to make the numbers up. Maybe producing one centre half everyother year.
And for all the people saying it was a complete mismatch is been too nice. Yes it was men against boys but come on 14-0. If an academy side played there own first team you wouldnt expect it to be 14-0.