Date:Saturday September 30 2006
The players coming through the renowned Blackburn Rovers youth set up are instrumental to the clubs future so these players need to be given a chance as often as possible.
Vital Blackburn Member Clint would open the door on a subject that I feel very strongly about when he made this following very valid point when commenting on a recent article about the clubs central defensive options, which would include one or two youth products:
"I'm sure the Neill to the middle of defence is a good option as was said we do have cover on the left, I personally would like the kids to get a chance, because a club like Blackburn, while trying to climb the league can afford to play the younger English players to get them ready for the 1st team, before they drop a Division to get football."
I really like Clint's point about giving the kids a chance, as I've said the youngsters are instrumental to the future of a club like Blackburn Rovers. The Rovers' future will be primarily based on their own produce as they don't have mountains of cash like many others.
Even if money would be an option Blackburn will not always be the preferred choice for some of the "top quality" footballers out there. These types of players will often opt for London, or the surrounding areas within small travelling distance, as with all due respect to Blackburn as a town it can't offer people what London and its surrounding areas can.
London isn't a million miles away from Blackburn, but it is still far enough, although on the other hand Manchester and Liverpool are not too far away and these are areas with a rich tradition and history.
So even with these points aside players being produced save the club money, sure they may be investing in their future so that costs them but if, and this is if not when (as the club don't want to have to sell players) they sell them on they will make a large profit, and if sell on clauses are added even more could be made.
Rovers have youth team products like Andy Taylor, Matt Derbyshire, Keith Treacy, Eddie Nolan and Tony Kane all in the first team squad itself, and on the fringes of match day first team squads so why not give them the chance? If they are good enough they are old enough. Another on the fringes of the first team, being a regular in the reserves, although not strictly a Rovers product is 18-year-old left-back Martin Olsson signed from Swedish side Hogaborgs BK in 2005.
The current crop of academy students contains what will hopefully be the next batch of talent and the future of Rovers, the likes of 15-year-old Mamadi Keita, the African born German midfielder.
There isn't a rush to throw the youngsters in but if they wait and wait and wait they will eventually slip away to lower League sides like Damien Johnson did to a certain extent, and Jonathan Douglas recently has with move to Leeds before getting their chance they deserve with a Premiership side and maybe to Rovers' cost!
Clint has made another interesting point recently:
"Blackburn are in the envious position to give the young players a chance, now I know the main aim is to win but unlike the big clubs that HAVE to win every game and therefore cannot pick players like Bentley etc, teams like Blackburn have to opportunity to play them otherwise what is the point of having an award winning academy and reserve team that is one of the best in the country!"
Another very true point, and although I must again stress my earlier point that these players don't necessarily need to be rushed into the side but if they don't play and players keep being brought in a head of them, some of which are merely equal at best what is the point indeed of having the one of the best academies in the country?
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Date:Saturday September 30 2006
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