Club announces new manager!

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by Denver Royal » 08 Feb 2018 22:52

Heh, I think I first saw the story on a Tottenham forum...hence the reference to Jack Wheelchair :lol:

But yeah, I've typically heard good things about the overall youth setup at Reading, too. And the point the OP made about us likely getting some leftovers from the big London clubs is a good one.

It has seemed to me for some time that the academies at Leeds and Burnley have produced a steady amount of 1st team players (though I've not really seen the numbers or data to back that up). Maybe they have benefited in recent years - and will continue to do so - by the Manchester clubs buying more foreign players?

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by Hoop Blah » 09 Feb 2018 11:34

Interesting debate and some enlightening opinion and stats there too.

To my eyes the Academy has been, largely a success, especially that Pearce/Henry/Karacan generation but, like a lot of things, as the club has succeeded and grown some of these have changed along the way. As the club moved up into the Premier League and competed more at the top end of the Championship so the Academy had to change some of it's operations and, specifically, widen it's recruitment net and attempt to raise it's standards.

No longer were we looking to bring in (or able to attract) young players who'd be able to supplement a top League One/mid-table Championship side but it changed into top Championship or mid-table Premier League players. Logically that means we won't have as many proper local lads making up the youth sides and also it means making the side becomes progressively harder.

At the same time managers have been under more pressure to gain results and that often means youngsters get less of a chance and have to be that much better to get and stay involved. Throw in all the disruptive change around the club over the last few seasons and I think the Academy has still done a pretty decent job of feeding some talent into the first team squad. This isn't just applicable to Reading. Young players not getting enough of a chance in first team football is a problem throughout the game right now and is, IMO, the biggest hindrance to player development up and down the country.

I'm a big fan of the less tangible aspects of the Academy as well. It should be a great way for the club to engage with the local community and keep it's roots more local. The growing size of the Academy probably helps that, although I'm not totally convinced by the pyramid structure that Academy's have introduced which sees the development centres becoming a revenue stream to help fund the elite sections of the Academy. That's almost exploiting the dreams of young kids and their parents, but probably a necessary evil.

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by Hound » 09 Feb 2018 11:57

Hoop Blah wrote:I'm a big fan of the less tangible aspects of the Academy as well. It should be a great way for the club to engage with the local community and keep it's roots more local. The growing size of the Academy probably helps that, although I'm not totally convinced by the pyramid structure that Academy's have introduced which sees the development centres becoming a revenue stream to help fund the elite sections of the Academy. That's almost exploiting the dreams of young kids and their parents, but probably a necessary evil.


Its an interesting point.

I know the fees are relatively inexpensive - maybe between £3 and £5 per session. For this, the club have to hire out the pitch (ie at Reading Hockey Club or Woodley Goals) and have a paid for coach employed by RFC. Generally looks about 10-12 kids per coach from what I've seen.

I don't think thats any different really from the local youth teams. Obvs the costs can tot up if Junior is playing a couple of times a week in a development side + his local youth club, but I suppose thats a choice the parent has to make

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by bagman » 09 Feb 2018 12:55

The monies raised from the Development Centres goes to the Community Trust, not the Parent Club. The Academy structure is funded solely by RFC, so they are separate from an income stream viewpoint. Monies that go into the Trust are not subsequently directed back to RFC.

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by Victor Meldrew » 09 Feb 2018 14:49

Hoop Blah wrote:Interesting debate and some enlightening opinion and stats there too.

To my eyes the Academy has been, largely a success, especially that Pearce/Henry/Karacan generation but, like a lot of things, as the club has succeeded and grown some of these have changed along the way. As the club moved up into the Premier League and competed more at the top end of the Championship so the Academy had to change some of it's operations and, specifically, widen it's recruitment net and attempt to raise it's standards.

No longer were we looking to bring in (or able to attract) young players who'd be able to supplement a top League One/mid-table Championship side but it changed into top Championship or mid-table Premier League players. Logically that means we won't have as many proper local lads making up the youth sides and also it means making the side becomes progressively harder.

At the same time managers have been under more pressure to gain results and that often means youngsters get less of a chance and have to be that much better to get and stay involved. Throw in all the disruptive change around the club over the last few seasons and I think the Academy has still done a pretty decent job of feeding some talent into the first team squad. This isn't just applicable to Reading. Young players not getting enough of a chance in first team football is a problem throughout the game right now and is, IMO, the biggest hindrance to player development up and down the country.


I'm a big fan of the less tangible aspects of the Academy as well. It should be a great way for the club to engage with the local community and keep it's roots more local. The growing size of the Academy probably helps that, although I'm not totally convinced by the pyramid structure that Academy's have introduced which sees the development centres becoming a revenue stream to help fund the elite sections of the Academy. That's almost exploiting the dreams of young kids and their parents, but probably a necessary evil.


Following on from this, it has been interesting seeing what has happened with Bournemouth.
The policy over the past few years is to buy young players that have already shown ability, Lewis Cook at Leeds, Tyrone Mings at Ipswich, Jordon Ibe at Liverpool,Josh king at Blackburn, Callum Wilson at Coventry,Brad Smith at Liverpool,Ryan Fraser at Aberdeen, Nathan Ake at Chelsea, Lys Mousset from France, Benik Afobe from Wolves plus a few other youngsters at less money such as the England U 21 keeper from Sheffield United,.
(BTW the total cost of those came to in excess of £70 million).
Prior to their recent exalted status and wealth there were always at least one or two home-growns in the side.

The complaint from fans locally has been that there are no longer any home-growns and Eddie has been at pains to point out in the local Press that it is difficult to promote players to the Premier League and most of the youngsters go out on loan.
So, even with the team in mid- table of the Premier League fans are reacting in the same way as most fans in that they want this local or home-grown link to the players.
Conversely Saints fans want their club to bring in a few more outsiders to augment those that come through the system and recently only Ward-Prowse and Jack Stephens are semi-regular in their starting line-up with more and more of the youngsters out on loan.

I suppose it comes back to connection with the club which fans want but with more and more foreign players coming into our game the young ones aren't getting so much of a look-in and maybe they should be looking to play abroad to gain more experience as well as going on loan to lower level clubs here.


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Re: Club announces new manager!

by Hound » 09 Feb 2018 15:31

to an extent also I think these things are a little cyclical.

If there are enough high quality young players coming through, then clubs won't need to look abroad as much. I'm pretty sure every single club would ideally have more local home-grown players.

There has definitely been a vast improvement in coaching and facilities in recent years, and I think we are starting to see the benefit with the age groups winning the world cups. Hopefully that will translate to more local youngsters coming through into clubs first 11s.

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by From Despair To Where? » 10 Feb 2018 09:26

Denver Royal wrote:It has seemed to me for some time that the academies at Leeds and Burnley have produced a steady amount of 1st team players


Leeds tend to hoover up the best talent in West and East Yorkshire and also having a transfer embargo in 2015 probably forced them to bring youngsters through.

5 years ago, Burnley were a lower league side with 7 established Premier League teams within 30 miles of them. A bit like us, they could offer a genuine chance of first team football to youngsters in comparison to their local rivals.

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by From Despair To Where? » 10 Feb 2018 09:36

Talking of Southampton, didn't Walcott, Bale, Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Ward-Prowse, Lallana and Shaw all break into the first team outside the Premiership?

Southampton's recruitment policy in the last few years seems to have been "buy Celtic's best player"

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by Hound » 10 Feb 2018 09:38

Think they signed Lallana from Bournemouth but you could add Chambers to that list


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Re: Club announces new manager!

by From Despair To Where? » 10 Feb 2018 09:58

Lallana joined Southampton when he was 12. He did have a loan spell at Bournemouth in 2007 though.

Can't believe he's got 33 England caps. Shows how little attention I give to the England team.

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by Victor Meldrew » 10 Feb 2018 12:05

Hound wrote:Think they signed Lallana from Bournemouth but you could add Chambers to that list


He comes from Bournemouth area but Saints did what they have done well and snapped him up.

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by Hound » 10 Feb 2018 13:24

Ah ok, I stand corrected

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Re: Club announces new manager!

by SCIAG » 10 Feb 2018 22:16

From Despair To Where? wrote:Talking of Southampton, didn't Walcott, Bale, Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Ward-Prowse, Lallana and Shaw all break into the first team outside the Premiership?

Shaw and Ward-Prowse were in the Premier League. Shaw made one appearance in the FA Cup the season they got promoted, Ward-Prowse made one in each cup that season. Their league debuts were in the Premier League.


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