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West Brom's youth academy a success story

 

Given the UEFA Fair play rules the way forward is Youth but running an academy at a Premier League football club is a complex business. Premier League club are showing the way.

Like every other business the demand for new players coming through the ranks into the first team are paramount to provide a returns for their investment.

You need to keep the first-team manager happy. He wants players coming through. And the rest of the coaching staff, they need raw products to polish.

The role is demanding enough from the club but there are hundreds of boys and parents who have to be meet and manage expectations.

That role of West Brom's academy manager Mark Harrison is to keep a happy balance.

“We always try to be very honest – that is critical,” said Harrison.

“We have all, myself included, had careers in football that haven’t developed into what we would have liked so we have personal experience of getting to a certain level and then being told ‘sorry, you are not going to make it’.

With so many young boys with aspirations to be professional footballer it is a difficult job to deal with those that do not make it. Football is all about opinion and while there are examples of players who have made it into the game latter in their carears it's important not to love of the game. There are many "good" footballers on the terraces each week.

GM

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