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Arrested Development Published by Order Tramadol Online Europe REPD on 4 July 2011 So then, what’s this developmental squad business all about?

The whole reserve/youth team system has never quite lived up to WFC era standards as yet, and I guess this is what the club was referring to in a recent WHAK about the Football League changing things.

Details are as yet a bit sketchy, and with luck we’ll find out more what it’s about in due course, but initial thoughts are what a promising idea it sounds. Our reserve team, while it’s done well at its level, has never looked likely to have been the major stepping stone between the youth and the first team.

Being stuck in leagues like the Suburban has never really helped us, especially when you consider where the first team is now. Any player who looks semi-promising has either had to sit it out on the bench bar the odd runout (Jack Turner, Reece Jones, Brendan Kiernan) or gone on loan.

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So, is scrapping the reserves a good idea? Especially as one reason why we’ve never gone into the Football Combination is our lack of full time youth teamers? By the look of things, we wouldn’t be the only ones. If only 28 sides in the entire Football League are fielding reserve sides next season, we wouldn’t have much playing time – five home games and five away games (if Barry Fry’s comments are correct) really isn’t enough. A cursory glance around other teams in London and the South East on the other hand suggests there’s more scope to get more games : Brentford have their own development squad (the same one that a certain Mr C Bush left to join us…). Charlton don’t have a reserve side, but they have an academy that they claim has produced no less than 20 future first teamers for the Addicks. Including one familiar name

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Palace, Millwall and Barnet have a variant on under-18 squads as opposed to reserve sides, so it’s likely we’ll be facing them regularly instead of Axewound reserves on crappy pitches. It would also mean we could take on more promising youngsters without thinking how quickly we would have to ditch them because they’re two years away from the first team. Your editor once overheard after a reserve game an exhasperated Marcus Gayle point out to one of our top brass that “I have to let a lot of promising youngsters go”… This does pose a few questions though. What does this mean for the “Live With Mum” approach? If the idea is to train 3/4 times a week (like the first team), we’d have to pay them a living wage. Maybe we’ll get funding from the FA/FL, but that’s got to come from somewhere. Again, it does put into focus the very real issue of funding…

What if a player shows promise but still isn’t quite ready for the first team? Presumably we’d be loaning them out to Conference/Conference South sides like we used to do ourselves. Josh Parker springs to mind, and come to think of it so does Chris Bush. Problem for us is that there aren’t many Conference sides in the South East these days, so maybe we’ll start lending the Axewounds some of ours? 😉

Buy Generic Tramadol Online Above all else, how good will these youth teamers be? Anyone who really shows promise at such a young age will probably be on Fulham’s books already. That said, there does seem to be an extraordinary amount of kids who go into the academies of somebody like Chelski, get kicked out quite quickly and are almost lost to the game before they’re of legal drinking age. Think of how we got Reece Jones.

Still, it’s an interesting development (ho ho) and one that if done correctly will put us in good stead. I doubt if we’ll fully see its effects until a good 4 or 5 years down the line, though even in its current (and slightly haphazard) incarnation we’ve produced Chris Hussey and Brendan Kiernan from it. And who knows, one day we may be able to create our own Danny Kedwell… That’s in the future. For now, we still have to import the bulk of our players, though thankfully Sam Hatton and Christian Jolley have signed up. All we now need are Toks, Sammy Moore and Lee Minshull to find out if they have birth certificates and we’re mostly all set. The need for one more striker still continues, of course, but it appears there’s some working behind the scenes going on for that.

Of course, we have a match on Saturday…