Our Academy... What is the point?

the_holgate_roof

Well-known member
Good enough at the time agreed which is why young players should be managed correctly. That doesnt mean they wouldnt be ready, or have the temperament or attitude at a later date.

We've had plenty who we've put in too early down the years who for whatever reason didnt make it. Yes we can never say if they would have done if they had been put in at a later date, but thats down to more informed professionals than any of us.

We've had the likes of Keith O'Halloran and John Johnson thrown in and were pretty much ripped apart in their debuts and then never recovered. I know the reply will be, well they were never ever good enough, but who knows? Luke Williams arguably was thrown in too quick at 16 and never really recovered. Same with Micky Cummins, Mark Hudson, Sean Kilgannon etc. Weve been much better in recent years selecting when the time was right to blood kids (or not) such as Dael Fry, Marcus Tavernier etc.
When you say ‘never recovered’, what do you mean?? If that was the case, then surely they firstly weren’t really good enough and secondly, they were prepared poorly and their expectations were not set correctly.
 

shaun71

Active member
When you say ‘never recovered’, what do you mean?? If that was the case, then surely they firstly weren’t really good enough and secondly, they were prepared poorly and their expectations were not set correctly.

Never recovered as in having any future career for us. Like I said people will always say well they werent good enough in the first place? That may well be true but who knows if we they had been managed a bit better, and as you say their expectations were set a bit more accurately.
 

shaun71

Active member
I like to think weve got people at the club, certainly in the Academy, that do set those expectations correctly and know what certain players are capable of.

Got back 12/18 months and I remember a sizeable chunk of support who wouldnt have been unhappy at seeing the likes of Fry and Tavernier moved on. Theyve both benefited by being put in the first team at the right time and then taken back out again.

I just hope people dont expect the likes of Josh Coburn to immediately be a 30 goal a season striker. He's only ever scored 1 goal at U23 level, although has 18 goals at U18/17 level this season. Fantastic prospect and I hope we get to see a bit of him this season but a bit of realism needed.
 

TheWolfman

Active member
I understand your point and it's hard to argue as you cant really say either way what is the best approach. For the players you named, we have also had young lads thrown in who have gone on to have good careers.
I dont think the majority are expecting miracles, maybe just a few shots, win a couple of headers. It's the perfect chance where there is no real expectation. Also with no fans he wouldnt be getting any stick off the bell ends.
 

Smoggle

Well-known member
I’d like to see a couple of these youngsters given a chance before the season is out, the fact they’re on the bench suggests they’re in the reckoning so let’s hope they get some time to play.

The academy argument has gone on for years, the fact is they rarely get it wrong. Chris Brunt is maybe the one who got away, but he was behind Downing and Johnson. Morrison was probably sold too early but still brought in money. Some lucky ones get some games, leave and have steady careers, but most of the decent ones we get some money (eg Joe Bennett) which keeps the academy going along with the odd big transfer (Gibson) too. Many more disappear into obscurity. With the current lot we’d probably get very good money for Fry and Tav, with Spence and Coulson bringing in respectable fees if we sold them. We seem a pretty decent club for bringing players through and into the professional game, if not always for us.

They’re not going to chuck kids into the 1st team as they have to protect the player as well as the club. Most just aren’t ready, even if we’re hearing positive thing about them. Nathan Porritt is the one that I remember most, but there’s been several others that have had their names thrown about online. They just weren’t ready and often just not good enough. If some of this current bunch are ready then I’m sure we’ll see them now the pressure is off, if they’re not ready then let’s hope this is a bit of experience for them, either way I’d trust the academy working with the management to make the right choice.
 

Gains

Active member
Which players have had their careers ruined by being thrown in too early?
From a Boro perspective maybe Stephen Bell? Alan Moore was unbelievable at first but didn’t fulfil his potential.
Other names you could say Jack Wilshere, Michael Owen although successful probably didn’t hit the heights expected of him as an 18 yr old. Freddie Adou was tipped as the next Pele as a kid, it never happened for him. And there’ll be loads more we haven’t heard of who might have made it had their careers been handled differently.
You can say they probably weren’t good enough or as good as first thought but you don’t know that. That’s why kids are held back because it does happen.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
Fry / Spence / Coulson / Tav have all been pretty consistently involved (although spence came from Fulham). Wood played a few games.
Spence isn't an academy graduate, he signed a young pro form at 18 from after 2 years in Fulhams academy, then started training with the first team after about 6 months because we had injuries.

Fry and Tav are excellent academy graduates though, no doubt.
 

Zoophonic

Well-known member
From a Boro perspective maybe Stephen Bell? Alan Moore was unbelievable at first but didn’t fulfil his potential.
Other names you could say Jack Wilshere, Michael Owen although successful probably didn’t hit the heights expected of him as an 18 yr old. Freddie Adou was tipped as the next Pele as a kid, it never happened for him. And there’ll be loads more we haven’t heard of who might have made it had their careers been handled differently.
You can say they probably weren’t good enough or as good as first thought but you don’t know that. That’s why kids are held back because it does happen.
These are players who showed early promise but failed to live up to expectations rather than players thrown in too early. Belly and Moore were not thrown into the side too early. Moore scored 4 goals in his first three matches but didn’t kick on for various reasons. Belly had his demons but was great for a season.
 

Gains

Active member
How do you know if they’d been held back a bit they might have gone to the very top? None of us know. So saying no player has had their career ruined by being thrown in too early is the same as saying they have, we just don’t know.
But there’s a reason kids aren’t just thrown in, and the people not throwing them in are better placed than us to decide.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
How do other teams in the championship do for academy grads?

Norwich:
- Max Aarons 41 games
- Dan Barden 2 games
- Todd Cantwell 29 games
- Adam Idah 16 games
- Josh Martin 9 games
- Reece McAlear 1 game
- Andrew Omabamidele 5 games
- Tyrese Omotoye 3 games

8 players, but only 2 regular, 106 appearances, and still top of the league.

Boro:
- Coulson 15 games
- Sam Folarin 2 games
- Dael Fry 32 games
- Tavernier 29 games
- Nathan Wood 4 games

5 players, 82 games.

We're a little bit behind the best in the division for academy, but not much. But then Brentford we're miles ahead of:

- Finlay Stevens 1 game

I think we fail to make the most of our academy, but it's not a total waste of time. We had a great team 15-18ish years ago (Wheater, Davies, Taylor, McMahon, Cattermole, Downing, Morrison, Johnson, Bates, Parnaby, Jones) and maybe our expectations were spoiled. You can't get that success repeatedly, but you can repeat it.
 

18MFC76

Well-known member
The OP has picked an issue that has little to do with Warnock and used it to critisize him. Not sure what the agenda is, but there is clearly one. Probably that he wants warnock to freeze out some players, and he may have a point. So make that point not a spurious point about our academy.

An issue that has little to do with Warnock?? He picks the team/squad so I think it has quite a lot to do with Warnock. So yesterday you think it was right to bring Assombalonga on instead of Coburn? A young kid who is highly rated but is constantly seeing this waster who doesn't even want to be here getting on ahead of him. I don't think that sends a great message to youngsters (you don't need to work hard you will still get a game). The academy setup is good. It's us not utilising it more at a first team level that's my frustration. I'm a Warnock fan by the way, but he got that wrong yesterday. Assombalonga shouldn't even be in the squad right now.
 

newyddion

Well-known member
I've thought it for a long time but this is one aspect of the club that really needs looking at. It must cost an absolute fortune to run the academy and for what? 99.9% of the kids in our academy don't get a look in. Yes there's the odd one (Tav, Fry etc) but on the whole it is massively underused.

If we had a first team full of top top players you would think fair enough but time after time our youngsters are being cast aside to make way for bang average experienced players who often cost the club silly money (Assombalonga and Saville prime examples).

Yesterday just summed the whole situation up for me. We have absolutely nothing to play for. Half of these first teamers are already on their holidays. Surely yesterday was the time to blood some of these youngsters? Now I'm not saying these youngsters are the answer, but how will we ever know if we don't give them a chance? At this stage of the season we should be getting the most highly rated players not just from the under 23's but from the under 18's and giving these lads a go. Who would you rather see at this stage of the season? A bang average first teamer going through the motions or a young kid with his big chance and everything to prove. It's a unique situation where there's also no crowd in. So they don't have the added pressure of playing in front of 20,000 people. To not take advantage of that situation is criminal for me and very very frustrating.

Why is Archer getting a game over Brynn? Why are Malley and Hackney getting overlooked when our midfield has been poor for weeks. There's a highly rated youngster in the Under 18's Kavanagh. Just give him a go! The kid was linked with top clubs so he must have something about him. He can not do any worse than Akpom, Assombalonga etc. To not bring Coburn on and opt for Assombalonga who Warnock has already said won't be here next season is baffling to say the least.

It just feels to me that we're getting this all wrong.
I’m sure we’ll see some lads introduced before the season’s over.
 

Simply red

Well-known member
Neil made a comment ‘ some lads go away as boys , and come back pre season as men ‘
By this I think he is saying they are still boys and are not quite ready , but hopes some will come back as men . Coburn ,Tyrone O’Neill , Malley , etc, could be the ones that need to beef up a bit , and come back stronger and more prepared for a battle against some big championship players .
 

TeessideCleveland

Well-known member
Not always. Like I said, there are more people involved like Craig Liddle, who will know a lot more whether players are ready than any of us.

Coburn's a big lad, a great prospect, but I can just see now if he doesnt make an immediate impact. Its happened already with the likes of Sam Folarin earlier in the season.
Yes Folarin has not pushed on, though it turns out he was injured for a while - and that's probably why he didn't go out on loan
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
Yes Folarin has not pushed on, though it turns out he was injured for a while - and that's probably why he didn't go out on loan
I can't say I've seen anything in Folarin that makes me think he can be championship quality. He isn't one I'm thinking positive about for next year. I've seen loads of lads come through our academy over the years with far better control and technique than him.

I'd rate Jo Gibson, Malley, Hackney, Isaac Fletcher and Colburn all more advanced than him in terms of ability.
 

Beverleyred

Well-known member
Brunt, Morrison, McMahon, Parnaby, Wheater, Downing to name but a few, all moved on eventually. To me, it’s the change in regimes that define their careers. If the face doesn’t fit at the wrong time, then off they trot.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
Brunt, Morrison, McMahon, Parnaby, Wheater, Downing to name but a few, all moved on eventually. To me, it’s the change in regimes that define their careers. If the face doesn’t fit at the wrong time, then off they trot.
Moving them on isn't an issue Brunt for example no one doubted that he had ability but we had Downing an dJohnson a year or two younger and with much better ability. If you look at teams like Liverpool their academy makes them a fortune, the sheer number of players that go through then get sold. Same with Chelsea. We should be putting more effort into getting the best young players not just the best local players, and then having the best coaching system. If some stay and some are sold, so be it.
 

Laughing

Well-known member
An issue that has little to do with Warnock?? He picks the team/squad so I think it has quite a lot to do with Warnock. So yesterday you think it was right to bring Assombalonga on instead of Coburn? A young kid who is highly rated but is constantly seeing this waster who doesn't even want to be here getting on ahead of him. I don't think that sends a great message to youngsters (you don't need to work hard you will still get a game). The academy setup is good. It's us not utilising it more at a first team level that's my frustration. I'm a Warnock fan by the way, but he got that wrong yesterday. Assombalonga shouldn't even be in the squad right now.
Your op title is Our Academy, whats the point? The academy has nothing to do with Warnock, is my point.

As for assombalonga, I wouldn't have him any where near the 1st team either in training or match days. If that is your point then post that, it is valid, but again has nothing to do with the academy
 
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