Our Academy... What is the point?

Simply red

Well-known member
If Sunderlands academy at their spending peak cost 1.5m a year, why is ours costing 4m?
I think I read our costs are £2m per year .
But that is also home to our 1st team and one of the attractions to a player , not bad spending your days work in Rockliffe and it’s surroundings .big improvement on Hutton road and Sandy Flatts .
 

indeedido

Well-known member
We produce a lot of footballers in the Academy, but very few of real quality if we are being objective.
Pears £0.4m, Gibson £15.2m, Reach £5.3m, Steele £1.0m, Smallwood £0.2m, Bennett £2.8m, Jones £2.5m, Wheater £2.5m are the players sold for fees in the last 10 years for £29.9m.

Downing £11.7m, Johnson £10.2m, Cattermole £4.0m, Craddock £0.1m, Morrison £2.0, Hutchinson £0.3m, Davies £0.3m, Wilkshire £0.3m, Campbell £1.3m in previous 10 years for £30.2m.

Given the Academy definitely has generated enough profit from player sales to cover the cost of operation in each decade AND it provides players who have made a significant contribution to first team (Gibson, Downing, Johnson, Cattermole being the obvious ones) that would otherwise have to have been bought and amortised and at higher wages, THEN it is clear that a Cat 1 Academy that provides FFP expensable development of some talent is worthwhile.

However, the Academy has never produced a striker capable of operating in the first team and scoring goals.
The Academy produces a lot of decent players that do not generate fees or provide a good enough playing staff for us. My criticism is in the quality of player developed, from the quantity.
I can't think of any kids who we have let go that have gone on to make it big anywhere else.
We produce a lot of Football League players, but very few highly talented.
Either the recruitment is questionable, the development questionable, or the route to first team questionable?
And it has definitely been less productive this last decade with less money generated in a massively inflated market.
I know you can't choose, but I'd far prefer an Academy that produces a real class act every couple of years, rather than ten competent players who end up in Leagues one and two.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
However, the Academy has never produced a striker capable of operating in the first team and scoring goals.
I think many academies suffer from that. Strikers are the most talented players in general, and the top academies get the top 3 or so strikers every year.
 

indeedido

Well-known member
I think many academies suffer from that. Strikers are the most talented players in general, and the top academies get the top 3 or so strikers every year.
I understand that, but in 20 years we might have reared one very good one and a number of others capable of playing for us a fair bit?
 

Otto42

Well-known member
As I thought our academy more than funds itself with transfer fees received alone. It's also what the club is known for nationally, hence being able to sign decent prospects from non-league and other academies.

The academy is probably the shining example of where we have got things right through long term planning.

As for strikers, we haven't produced a top player, but we have produced one or two who have or look to be capable of having decent league careers in the past twenty years, Charlie Wyke, Danny Graham and Luke Armstrong off the top of my head.
 

BoroMart

Well-known member
I understand that, but in 20 years we might have reared one very good one and a number of others capable of playing for us a fair bit?
It is frustrating, we've created a few lower like CFs, but we are definitely over due. I think for a while we had the strategy of predominantly locals and that hindered us.

As for strikers, we haven't produced a top player, but we have produced one or two who have or look to be capable of having decent league careers in the past twenty years, Charlie Wyke, Danny Graham and Luke Armstrong off the top of my head.
Danny Graham was 18 when he joined so technically he was produced by Chester-le-streets youth system. Luke Armstrong after graduating from our youths ended up in non-league IIRC
 

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.
The ones that are good enough will make it. Those who aren't at the level of promotion chasing championship level or premier league will find their level and bring money into the club. (beyond what it costs to run)

You think that playing a team full of 18 year old hopefuls would get us very far? Man Utd's 'class of 92' had some great experienced players to help bring them on. The same with the West Ham graduates. If we had a young Messi, Ronaldo, Lampard or Rooney then they would get their chance and they would get game time.

It's great to see the young lads through and even better to see them make a success of their careers but lets not pretend that every single academy player is capable of playing at the top level. Look no further than Nathan Porritt.. he was very highly regarded but didn't have the temperament to make it. We see players like Raval Morrison who had the potential to be world class.. but it didn't happen for a number of reasons despite being given the opportunity to shine.

Fingers crossed we see the likes of Spence, Coulson and Wing really go out there and smash it. Like Chris Brunt, James Morrison and Danny Graham before them. It's a results based game. We can't always afford to keep and develop the players if we have an opportunity to sell them on and improve our squad.

Barcelona let Adama go.. should they be criticised? What about all of their other academy players? Why are they buying Martin Braithwaite when any 18year old from the academy could come out and do the business week in, week out.. because they are not quite there yet. Some are and they get their game and some are not.
 

Simply red

Well-known member
The ones that are good enough will make it. Those who aren't at the level of promotion chasing championship level or premier league will find their level and bring money into the club. (beyond what it costs to run)

You think that playing a team full of 18 year old hopefuls would get us very far? Man Utd's 'class of 92' had some great experienced players to help bring them on. The same with the West Ham graduates. If we had a young Messi, Ronaldo, Lampard or Rooney then they would get their chance and they would get game time.

It's great to see the young lads through and even better to see them make a success of their careers but lets not pretend that every single academy player is capable of playing at the top level. Look no further than Nathan Porritt.. he was very highly regarded but didn't have the temperament to make it. We see players like Raval Morrison who had the potential to be world class.. but it didn't happen for a number of reasons despite being given the opportunity to shine.

Fingers crossed we see the likes of Spence, Coulson and Wing really go out there and smash it. Like Chris Brunt, James Morrison and Danny Graham before them. It's a results based game. We can't always afford to keep and develop the players if we have an opportunity to sell them on and improve our squad.

Barcelona let Adama go.. should they be criticised? What about all of their other academy players? Why are they buying Martin Braithwaite when any 18year old from the academy could come out and do the business week in, week out.. because they are not quite there yet. Some are and they get their game and some are not.
Well said Newy.
 

jonny_greenings_sock

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.
Michael Owen won the Ballon d'Or.
 

Brian Marwood

Well-known member
The other point about academy players that gets lost on fans is that it isn't only the sale fees that are to be considered when evaluating the success or not, you also need to factor in any players that become a first team regular and the fee saving of not buying a player for that position.
 

18MFC76

Well-known member
The ones that are good enough will make it. Those who aren't at the level of promotion chasing championship level or premier league will find their level and bring money into the club. (beyond what it costs to run)

You think that playing a team full of 18 year old hopefuls would get us very far? Man Utd's 'class of 92' had some great experienced players to help bring them on. The same with the West Ham graduates. If we had a young Messi, Ronaldo, Lampard or Rooney then they would get their chance and they would get game time.

It's great to see the young lads through and even better to see them make a success of their careers but lets not pretend that every single academy player is capable of playing at the top level. Look no further than Nathan Porritt.. he was very highly regarded but didn't have the temperament to make it. We see players like Raval Morrison who had the potential to be world class.. but it didn't happen for a number of reasons despite being given the opportunity to shine.

Fingers crossed we see the likes of Spence, Coulson and Wing really go out there and smash it. Like Chris Brunt, James Morrison and Danny Graham before them. It's a results based game. We can't always afford to keep and develop the players if we have an opportunity to sell them on and improve our squad.

Barcelona let Adama go.. should they be criticised? What about all of their other academy players? Why are they buying Martin Braithwaite when any 18year old from the academy could come out and do the business week in, week out.. because they are not quite there yet. Some are and they get their game and some are not.

I'm not saying we need to play a team full of 18 year old hopefuls! I posted this at the back end of last season when our last 5 or 6 games we had nothing to play for therefore it was a great opportunity to see what these kids could do and test them against Championship opposition. Like I said, it was a unique situation whereby there was no fans in and so there would have been less pressure on them. Malley came off the bench and got Sky motm and barely featured after that which I thought was strange. I couldn't understand why the likes of Britt were still getting in ahead of youngsters when it had already been confirmed he wouldnt be here this coming season.

It's been good to see Warnock taking a look at them so far in pre season. Sivi in particular has looked impressive. If they're good enough they're old enough.
 

indeedido

Well-known member
The other point about academy players that gets lost on fans is that it isn't only the sale fees that are to be considered when evaluating the success or not, you also need to factor in any players that become a first team regular and the fee saving of not buying a player for that position.
Which is why both Boromart and I covered that in our posts.
 
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