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  #181  
Old 15-12-2015, 11:58 PM
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Surely bringing the younger players(under 16,s & under 18,s) through quicker has got to be good for their development . It always seemed to me that we had too many players at under 21 blocking the way for better talent .
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  #182  
Old 16-12-2015, 06:56 AM
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Interesting to see we are approaching youth recruitment slightly differently from the big boys. I'm excited to see what our long-term plans are for the future of the academy, but I'm sure only time will tell whether it is successful or not.

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  #183  
Old 16-12-2015, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Woosie View Post
SP's programme notes make out the situation that currently faces the academy is better than it is IMO.

Goals is closest to the TG but what's the point in that when the players rarely mix and the manager cannot see them in action during training, or call them over for one session and say can you help make up the numbers as you've done well. Or something like that. You might as well get a better temporary option further away from the current TG because it would make no difference.

Yes it is partially to do with us being in the Prem that no-one has been given a debut for three (almost four now) years in the league. But that directly contradicts the claim that the academy is the best it has ever been - how can it be when we are not producing PL quality players yet? At best it is on par with when we had the likes of Zaha, Cadogan, Djilali, Hills et al coming through. Because the current players we have out on loan are at that standard, that if we were in the Championship, they'd be playing the no of games that those lads played, a few here and there. That is not at all a criticism of the players, who I love watching and think have potential. I'm not expecting us to have several players in the team, as I said above, I think we need to get them out on loan and I think the club is doing a good job there.

Yes, it's good that SP is looking at fans' comments, but in my above post I have made several points - valid ones IMO - which suggest that what he is saying is more positive than it necessarily is - which IMO is a pretty poor situation.

On the few occasions he has been asked about the academy in interviews, he has yet to mention the word GOALS IIRC, always referring to it as "additional green space" or such like. Almost as if saying the word is forbidden because it makes it sound a lot worse than the club would like to admit - and I don't blame them because you want the academy to have a good reputation - but the way to ensure that reputation is upheld is to make sure they have good facilities, excellent coaching, feel valued, and to have a happy, confident, positive, productive environment. I don't personally think all of those criteria are currently met. In my opinion, few of those are met.

One thing CPFC2010 have done very well in the past five years is listen to fans' concerns, and by and large they have acted and rectified them. Lately that seems to have slipped a little, and as we have become a more established Premier League club, we appear to have fallen into the trap of being a more 'typical' PL club, without as much to differentiate us from other clubs IMO - I don't think that is intentional at all, it is a by-product of trying to raise the club's income and profile, as well as being in the Premier League. That's not to say we are no different, because we are.

But with regards to the academy in that sense, it feels like the club are putting their hands over their eyes and fingers in their ears until such a time as we have more money - presumably from this investment - when hopefully we will invest in the academy as well as the first team. Again, I'm not suggesting we should be spending tens of millions of pounds on the academy when we have a run-down stadium, when we have a large wage bill and the first team facilities still need improvement too. What I am saying, is that there is a need to accept that there is a problem, that things are not good enough, not to ignore it and try to claim that things are better than they are.

Like I said in the summer, I do think the owners care about the academy, and I appreciate that it's not black and white, and I don't know the exact ins and outs, or the state of the club's finances, but one thing is for sure: there must be a better temporary solution than GOALS.

One member of the club (I won't name them) was very rude to me in person recently with something related to the academy and had a total disregard for the efforts I've gone to in terms of covering the academy/youth teams and getting updates from the managers - something both fans, players and parents all appreciate.
Our owners are good, but they cannot make large green areas appear. They agreed a deal to buy the HSBC sports ground last year and HSBC had a change of heart and pulled out. That was clearly a big set back and so as an interim solution they have done the deal with Goals which is at least close and the pitches they use are not shared by others so some of the comments from you and Gazza are not really relevant (Gazza mentioned parking and use of the bar). You say why not just call it Goals, but why would they do that? They have rented private pitched from Goals, so why put a negative spin on it? You seem to enjoy pointing out their positive spin, but they should be positive, surely and are clearly trying to raise standards despite some real challenges.

Also, they have been investing in the facilities and coaching and claim the academy is the best it has been. Surely we'll need to see the output from the next few years to judge this rather than moaning about the lack of first team debuts over recent years?

I happen to think putting players out on loan to play competitive football is a very positive thing and gives the next wave a chance to play for the U21s, but some are moaning it weakens the U21s. What is more important?

You and Gazza provide great info on the youth set up and I certainly appreciate it, but sometimes I'm not sure you truly understand the challenges the club is facing. The "surely they can find a better alternative than Goals nearby" comment being a case in point.
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  #184  
Old 16-12-2015, 08:39 AM
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Pardew said as much in a recent interview, intimating that our different approach could give us an advantage...only time will tell, you're right.
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  #185  
Old 16-12-2015, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Shoreditch CPFC View Post
Our owners are good, but they cannot make large green areas appear. They agreed a deal to buy the HSBC sports ground last year and HSBC had a change of heart and pulled out. That was clearly a big set back and so as an interim solution they have done the deal with Goals which is at least close and the pitches they use are not shared by others so some of the comments from you and Gazza are not really relevant (Gazza mentioned parking and use of the bar). You say why not just call it Goals, but why would they do that? They have rented private pitched from Goals, so why put a negative spin on it? You seem to enjoy pointing out their positive spin, but they should be positive, surely and are clearly trying to raise standards despite some real challenges.

Also, they have been investing in the facilities and coaching and claim the academy is the best it has been. Surely we'll need to see the output from the next few years to judge this rather than moaning about the lack of first team debuts over recent years?

I happen to think putting players out on loan to play competitive football is a very positive thing and gives the next wave a chance to play for the U21s, but some are moaning it weakens the U21s. What is more important?

You and Gazza provide great info on the youth set up and I certainly appreciate it, but sometimes I'm not sure you truly understand the challenges the club is facing. The "surely they can find a better alternative than Goals nearby" comment being a case in point.
I'm not moaning about the U18s playing up an age group at all. I've said it's a good thing, I've just made a statement that the 21s will be weaker without the experience of the older players. It wasn't a criticism at all... I haven't seen anyone else moaning, unless I've missed it? I've been supportive of loan moves, even before the club started getting them out on loan.

As for not understanding the challenges, I'm perfectly aware that green space is not easy to come across, hence why I suggested they may need to move further out like Chelsea and Arsenal did. But in three years if the best you can come up with is a pitch like the ones at goals - which despite a small improvement at the start of the season which meant 6 games away from home - then that's pretty poor. I suggest you go down there and take a look at the pitch yourself, maybe then you'd understand the problems facing the academy a bit better?

The academy is not better than it has ever been, that's a ludicrous claim to make with no evidence. There's some good players, but they are let down by the lack of decent facilities.

I appreciate a lot of people don't want to say anything critical of the owners, and with regards to the first team there's little they have done wrong, the club has improved significantly, but there were better options and better facilities for academy kids when we had no money. It's gone backwards.

Like I said, take a trip to goals - maybe on Saturday (18s are at home) if you're not at Stoke - and see for yourself.

I've seen people use the pitch the 18s were on a few weeks back, after their game, so your comment about not being used by anyone else is wrong.

What investment has the academy seen in the facilities please? It's the first team facilities which are improved, not the academy.
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  #186  
Old 16-12-2015, 09:32 AM
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I play rugby there so I'm quite familiar with the facility thanks. Presumably you'd have been chuffed if the HSBC deal would have come off? It was being discussed and negotiated for ages. I would make a guesstimate that it wasted a year of time. Why not applaud the ambition to buy that large facility, when our Premier League future was far from certain, and cut them some slack that through no fault of their own it fell through?
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  #187  
Old 16-12-2015, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woosie View Post
I'm not moaning about the U18s playing up an age group at all. I've said it's a good thing, I've just made a statement that the 21s will be weaker without the experience of the older players. It wasn't a criticism at all... I haven't seen anyone else moaning, unless I've missed it? I've been supportive of loan moves, even before the club started getting them out on loan.

As for not understanding the challenges, I'm perfectly aware that green space is not easy to come across, hence why I suggested they may need to move further out like Chelsea and Arsenal did. But in three years if the best you can come up with is a pitch like the ones at goals - which despite a small improvement at the start of the season which meant 6 games away from home - then that's pretty poor. I suggest you go down there and take a look at the pitch yourself, maybe then you'd understand the problems facing the academy a bit better?
But it's not in three years is it? They haven't been working towards a move to Goals all that time. There have been other plans which have fallen through for no fault of our owners. Had any one of the suggested purchases come off the position would be different. Looking at where we are, as opposed to where had aimed to be, Goals is an arguably "better than nothing" solution in the short term. I guess a simple question would be, what would be a better solution that could have been arranged quickly enough?
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  #188  
Old 16-12-2015, 12:48 PM
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Interesting to see we are approaching youth recruitment slightly differently from the big boys. I'm excited to see what our long-term plans are for the future of the academy, but I'm sure only time will tell whether it is successful or not.

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Very interesting:

"Pardew says the Eagles target players who are struggling at school, who have recently arrived in south London from abroad or who just love football and need to be coached..."

That's three pretty clear categories to target, and eschews the idea that an academy would look for raw talent alone. It fits into our first team recruitment, where we look for players with a chip on their shoulder, football intelligence and natural leadership qualities.

Parish and Pardew have implied recently that something new is in the pipeline for the academy - but what form would this take, beyond an entirely new facility?
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  #189  
Old 16-12-2015, 12:57 PM
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By far the most important point IMHO is that we are not a Cat 1 academy. This is vital IMHO for reasons we have gone through before. Cat 2 facilities when Academy at main training ground. Fear that if we get audited while at Goals we will be downgraded to Cat 3.
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  #190  
Old 16-12-2015, 01:01 PM
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What investment has the academy seen in the facilities please? It's the first team facilities which are improved, not the academy.
Always appreciate your input but given the current situation it undeniable makes sense for us to prioritise the first team, as has happened. We are already seeing the benefit.

The academy setup is far from ideal but also far from permanent. There would be absolutely no benefit in AP/SP addressing this as an issue publicly.

There's an assumption here that the movement to Goals means the academy is less important to the club; however so long as we have a clear path into the first team during this period of change, as discussed by Pardew re. Kai Kai, then the academy is doing its job.

Not a great situation but the long-term strategy is absolutely clear and we have a manager who is better placed to bring through youth than any other manager since Dougie.
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  #191  
Old 16-12-2015, 01:03 PM
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Kaikai joined our academy relatively late in age from Fisher.
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Old 16-12-2015, 01:05 PM
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I don't recollect criticising the owners and I've commented several times that I understand why the Academy has not been a high priority. I've just made comments that it is no longer a jewell in our crown and has fallen behind a lot of other clubs.
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Old 16-12-2015, 01:10 PM
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When I listened to that about taking our youth recruitment differently I laughed. First thought was that we have to do that because lads who are obvious top prospects and have choice of Academies to join are not going to see us as a top option due to having some of worst Academy facilities in the South East (probably the actual worst) and that our Academy plays fixtures v Cat 2 sides who are mainly Championship and lower divisions. Rather than against any of the decent Prem academies at U18 level.
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  #194  
Old 16-12-2015, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Hedgehog View Post
Always appreciate your input but given the current situation it undeniable makes sense for us to prioritise the first team, as has happened. We are already seeing the benefit.

The academy setup is far from ideal but also far from permanent. There would be absolutely no benefit in AP/SP addressing this as an issue publicly.

There's an assumption here that the movement to Goals means the academy is less important to the club; however so long as we have a clear path into the first team during this period of change, as discussed by Pardew re. Kai Kai, then the academy is doing its job.

Not a great situation but the long-term strategy is absolutely clear and we have a manager who is better placed to bring through youth than any other manager since Dougie.
I've never said the first team should not be a priority.

My concern is with the state of the pitch and lack of facilities for the U18s and under. I've already explained that, so won't go into it again.

My other concern is that the club barely covers the 18s at all. Spelling players names wrong on the site, not mentioning when games are being played on social media (FAYC aside), not mentioning scores during games, not mentioning results except for on the website a day or so after, away match reports which are strikingly similar to those provided by the home side. It is not just that they play at GOALS as to why the academy seems to me to be less important to the club at this point in time, a club which was happy to promote it as part of a marketing campaign to encourage supporters to come along to games. It is a combination of things. If we could do the above better when we had no money, why can't we now when we have all the PL and TV money?

As I said, this isn't a case of 'make the academy a priority over the first team' it's a case of improving them both.

As it stands there is a possibility we could lose Cat 2 status in the next audit.

I'm hopeful that the American investment will help things. We'll see.

The U21s have received improved coverage from the club, which is good, and since Pardew has come in there have been loan moves, again, a good thing. It's just a shame the U18s haven't seen improved coverage.
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And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end

Last edited by Woosie; 16-12-2015 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 17-12-2015, 07:22 AM
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Sounds like woosies after a job at the Palace.
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  #196  
Old 17-12-2015, 08:09 AM
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Pardew said on the Men in Blazers podcast
1) They would be making an important announcement about youth development quite soon.
2) Kaikai needs to be a first team squad member next season
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Old 17-12-2015, 09:20 AM
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I can't believe that big investment in the academy wouldn't be part of the master plan. If not then I'd share your anger Woosie.
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Old 17-12-2015, 10:31 AM
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I can't believe that big investment in the academy wouldn't be part of the master plan. If not then I'd share your anger Woosie.
It would make sense to move the academy to nsc . It's neglected and has been for years and with new investment it would have a new lease of life . Parish has been talking with Bromley council so you never know .
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Old 17-12-2015, 11:55 AM
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That would be a great idea. I hope you are right.
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Old 17-12-2015, 11:57 AM
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U18s home on Sat v Bristol C for any of you who live local to Beckenham and are not going to Stoke. Midday KO. They have started checking season tickets again before they allow entry.

Last edited by Gazza2; 17-12-2015 at 07:21 PM.
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