Our Academy... What is the point?

Boro in Devon

Well-known member
Why is it that we wait for so long to play the academy lads in the first team. You regularly see on MoTD premier teams playing a 17/18 year old. What is it about their development teams that make them premiership quality that our players need to go out on loan to make men of them.
 

shaun71

Active member
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.

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.
Folarin has been excellent for the U23s in recent games and has got back to the form what pushed him into the first team. Isaiah Jones is the one who has the potential to excite fans the most. Traore-esque speed
 

Anton_Berg

Well-known member
there's the odd one (Tav, Fry etc)

One success will pay for several years' running costs* for the academy, when hopefully another comes along.

* Does anyone know what that figure is? I remember reading it was about £500,000 p.a. but that was years ago.
 

shaun71

Active member
there's the odd one (Tav, Fry etc)

One success will pay for several years' running costs* for the academy, when hopefully another comes along.

* Does anyone know what that figure is? I remember reading it was about £500,000 p.a. but that was years ago.
The 2018 accounts showed it cost £4m per year to run the Academy, with £1m being recouped through grants.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
there's the odd one (Tav, Fry etc)

One success will pay for several years' running costs* for the academy, when hopefully another comes along.

* Does anyone know what that figure is? I remember reading it was about £500,000 p.a. but that was years ago.
Remember also that the academy cost is outside of FFP, so it allows Gibson to invest and gain playing assets without impacting FFP, so it's a great way to lay long term foundations for the club
 

UTB70

Active member
Why can't mfc put their own northern league team together. Id see it as a step from u23s to encountering Real men's football at least.
 
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Corcaigh_the_Cat

Well-known member
The Academy has always had a number of functions.

We, as fans, just want to see first team players produced for us and rightly so. Part of the Academy's remit is to produced professional footballers, and if that isnt with us then at other clubs and another part is to bring in funds for the club. Since it opened in 1998 in its current guise we have done that in spades with the likes of Downing, Johnson, Gibson etc going for big money.

Just 6 months ago the likes of Josh Coburn were a million miles away from being ready for a first team squad place. Hes had a brilliant season, and come on leaps and bounds with training with the first team. The likes of Josh and Kav need carefully managing though, and cant just be thrown in as it could work totally the other way.

We've been no more successful at producing footballers though, since I started watching the Boro in the early 60s we had more success in the 70s and 80s than in the era since the Academy came into being.
 

bostonboro

Member
Why can't mfc put there own northern league team together. Id see it as a step from u23s to encountering Real men's football at least.

This is something Warnock called for a while back. The kids need to play against men like they did in the days of reserve football. Was also a benefit to squad players who aren't getting regular first team football.

I don't mind if the kids don't get much time now, give them a full pre-season with the first team and make a judgement on them then. I don't think we'll learn anything about them by giving them a run out in 4 or 5 games in a team that's already on the beach.
 

shaun71

Active member
We've been no more successful at producing footballers though, since I started watching the Boro in the early 60s we had more success in the 70s and 80s than in the era since the Academy came into being.

I would say the 2004-2006 era was as good as weve ever had in our history first team wise
 

viv_andersons_nana

Well-known member
As has been said, the point of the academy isn't only to produce footballers for the Boro first team it is to produce professional footballers full stop. You give loads of young, talented players the chance to dedicate themselves to something, to learn, you provide an education by forming links with colleges and local sports clubs, you coach them and guide them and then when they reach 17, 18, 19 years of age you send them out into the world. I personally get a little buzz out of checking the scores and teams of a weekend and noticing the names of lads who've come through our system to build good careers lower down the leagues. We should be championing it really.

If you look around the Championship I'm sure you'd see we're right up there in terms of first-team players who've come right through the club. Fry and Tav are our best players. How many other clubs in the top two divisions would say two youth team graduates are their club's best players/most saleable assets? Not many I suspect. We have a handful of talented kids knocking on the door, as per usual. We always have. The current frustration is Warnock picking players who don't want to be here instead of, say, Coburn or Hackney but I suspect that those two will both make appearances before the end of the season.

I've always banged on on here about giving young lads a chance and I still maintain that that is what the Boro should be doing, but think about when we played Rotherham at home a couple of months back. We had Nathan Wood at centre back, the most highly-rated of the bunch just below the first team group just now and over the past 12-18 months and he had a really hard night's work. There are mitigating circumstances - injuries meant he was playing alongside Spence and McNair instead of Dijksteel and Fry but it is still a massive step for him, even to play in an otherwise full-strength defence. Wood is an excellent prospect but that night will have shown everyone how big a step it is to take, to come into a full-blooded first-team fixture like that.

But if Boro gave league debuts to another, say, three youth team graduates before the season ends I think that would represent another incredibly productive season for the academy set-up. And then we hope at least one of them pushes on over the summer and really catches the eye in pre-season training.
 

fmttmadmin

Administrator
Staff member
Our academy is central to Gibson's ethos at the football club being run for the community and area. Just as the MFC Foundation (once also confusing called an academy) is a charity for the area the Academy is seen as something that offers hope and a path forward for youngsters. A route into pro football for an area that was traditionally seen as a hotbed.
Giving people and communities hope and a feeling of a future is surely a vitally important mission and something I feel proud about. And the standards laid down by first Dave Parnaby and now Craig Liddle are high ones they pride themselves in the educational and moral qualities of the young players they develop.
Warnock has been trying to include youngsters in the first team pool training wise and squad wise. But for me where Warnock's experience counts is that he can see when and where the academy players gain and lose from this arrangement. He felt mid season that youngsters sitting on the first team bench were not playing any competitive football and the disadvantages were starting to outweigh the advantages as those players form was suffering when they went back to play U23 level.
He tries to arrange loans wherever possible but again they don't always work out for the young players. The clubs have their own interests/priorities and cannot afford to be patient with a youngster learning on the spot. They may end up playing in an unfamiliar position or system. It is all part of the learning but you can see how it doesn't necessarily always work out in the short term.
I think the academy is a real achievement and something we can be very rightly proud about. If Dael Fry and Tavernier had not had lots of injuries this season we might now be praising the conveyor belt once again. To bring through two top quality Championship players at the same time is surely an achievement. If we can match that in the next two seasons then once again it will be a major plus for me.
And for all those young kids kicking a ball against a playground wall the Boro Academy is their dream and surely on this dark day when Greedy men are trying to destroy everything that dream is even more precious than ever.
 

Cress

Active member
hackney assist. Robinson, Sivi, malley and Brynn came on at Tavistock.
Tyrone O’Neill training with Scunthorpe United
 

asredastheycome

Well-known member
Our academy is central to Gibson's ethos at the football club being run for the community and area. Just as the MFC Foundation (once also confusing called an academy) is a charity for the area the Academy is seen as something that offers hope and a path forward for youngsters. A route into pro football for an area that was traditionally seen as a hotbed.
Giving people and communities hope and a feeling of a future is surely a vitally important mission and something I feel proud about. And the standards laid down by first Dave Parnaby and now Craig Liddle are high ones they pride themselves in the educational and moral qualities of the young players they develop.
Warnock has been trying to include youngsters in the first team pool training wise and squad wise. But for me where Warnock's experience counts is that he can see when and where the academy players gain and lose from this arrangement. He felt mid season that youngsters sitting on the first team bench were not playing any competitive football and the disadvantages were starting to outweigh the advantages as those players form was suffering when they went back to play U23 level.
He tries to arrange loans wherever possible but again they don't always work out for the young players. The clubs have their own interests/priorities and cannot afford to be patient with a youngster learning on the spot. They may end up playing in an unfamiliar position or system. It is all part of the learning but you can see how it doesn't necessarily always work out in the short term.
I think the academy is a real achievement and something we can be very rightly proud about. If Dael Fry and Tavernier had not had lots of injuries this season we might now be praising the conveyor belt once again. To bring through two top quality Championship players at the same time is surely an achievement. If we can match that in the next two seasons then once again it will be a major plus for me.
And for all those young kids kicking a ball against a playground wall the Boro Academy is their dream and surely on this dark day when Greedy men are trying to destroy everything that dream is even more precious than ever.
First class post👍
 

Soutra

Well-known member
Remember also that the academy cost is outside of FFP, so it allows Gibson to invest and gain playing assets without impacting FFP, so it's a great way to lay long term foundations for the club
Invest : - put (money) into financial schemes, shares, property, or a commercial venture with the expectation of achieving a profit.

Steve Gibson putting money into MFC is hardly an investment. It's just more money spent. Academy players (for the most part) seem to disappear into lower league obscurity. How many Academy players have made it for the £4 million a year it takes to keep it going?
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
Steve Gibson putting money into MFC is hardly an investment. It's just more money spent. Academy players (for the most part) seem to disappear into lower league obscurity. How many Academy players have made it for the £4 million a year it takes to keep it going?
Steve putting 4mill a year into the youth academy system can yield profit when one of those players is sold for 15mill (Eg Ben Gibson). So, yes, it's an investment. It can also create net value by reducing playing staff recruitment for the first team as youth players start to get first team games (Fry) and to an extent is likely to reduce playing contract costs as generally players earn their big contracts as they move as part of a big money transfer not as a youth player renegotiating his early contracts.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
506 possible league starts in a season (46x11), 84 starts by former academy players. So 17% of our starts were academy players. Last years squad was 49.5mill transfer fees.

Without an academy system , we would have needed players to take up the slack of that 17% of appearances, so we need to increase our playing staff recruitment by that 17% or 8.2mill. We had an extra 8.2m of playing staff available to us last season, that's before you look at the loss of revenue by not having an academy and not making profit selling players.
 
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