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  #1  
Old 22-08-2015, 10:00 PM
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'Football Academies - A side of football no-one talks about'

Have a read of this if you're interested in what happens at academies. Pretty brutal but not really surprising.

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Old 22-08-2015, 10:17 PM
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A very emotive article. Feel very sorry for Bywater Jr, but if he is as good as his Dad claims, he will make it in the game.
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Old 22-08-2015, 10:17 PM
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Have a read of this if you're interested in what happens at academies. Pretty brutal but not really surprising.

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A very good read and surprising stories like these aren't documented more often publicly.

The academy structure in this nation is an absolute shambles. Coaching sessions for 9 year olds are treated more like military training. I understand the nessessity to install discipline but they go way too far in my opinion. So far that some boys are nervous and don't actually enjoy playing or want to express themselves under tense pressure.

Children develop at all different ages, so why clubs release players who aren't good enough at 8 years of age is just strange. I also believe that youngsters are encouraged to play like robots with no freedom or creativity to express themselves.

I personally think academies need three teams in each age group and look to stick with them age groups for at least 5 years. Either that or there needs to be a "foundation tier" in between academy and grass roots level. The facilities and coaching levels between the two are massive it's embarrassing. I believe a tier two should ensure all clubs play on 4G facilities with a minimum level 2 coaches working on each group. How on earth is a 12 year old who's just been released by say for instance Palace expected to possibly hit his peak which could happen between the ages of 13-15 (which some do) under a coach who has barely if any decent experience developing players and playing on poor facilities?
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Old 23-08-2015, 08:12 PM
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Out of interest anyone know the person in question with his son in the academy?
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Old 23-08-2015, 08:53 PM
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It's not nice to read but to be honest i've heard all before and not really sure what the answer is. Are things really any different in other countries?
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Old 23-08-2015, 08:53 PM
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Out of interest anyone know the person in question with his son in the academy?
Simon Bywater - son is Kieran Bywater.
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Old 23-08-2015, 08:58 PM
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It's not nice to read but to be honest i've heard all before and not really sure what the answer is. Are things really any different in other countries?
Yes, you'd be astonished.
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Old 23-08-2015, 09:02 PM
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Yes, you'd be astonished.
In what ways?
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Old 23-08-2015, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woosie View Post
Simon Bywater - son is Kieran Bywater.
I meant this statement and who it referred to:

''Nick Haycock who was incidentally forced out of West Ham by a certain person who has his own son happily in the squad.''
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Old 23-08-2015, 10:47 PM
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The way some academy's treat kids needs to change. Just today I was speaking to the father of an 11 year old who was told he was being released by a London club as they couldn't afford to keep a "luxury player" going. 11 years old!
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Old 23-08-2015, 11:03 PM
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Have a read of this if you're interested in what happens at academies. Pretty brutal but not really surprising.

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Family friend has a kid who might be offered a scholarship soon.

The dad is keen but mum is rooting for him not to be offered it as she doesn't want him in the system.

Obviously the riches for succeeding are astronomical but it just seems like an awful life to push a kid into. Less than a 1% chance of success after having to put so much effort in / give up so much of your childhood for (not to mention the politics / corruption the article alludes to).

Last edited by sheepy; 23-08-2015 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 23-08-2015, 11:24 PM
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Wow.... That's a shocking story. Really feel for the family and young man in question.

Not a good look for the "ammers" academy either.

The one thing that hits home though is even for the little ones, it's a business now and no longer a sport.
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Old 24-08-2015, 05:52 AM
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I find the comments about the lack of financial support a bit surprising. One of my cousins is in the Barcelona academy but had a bunch of trials with English clubs (including palace). The English clubs were willing to offer more financial support than others. IIRC Liverpool were willing to go so far as to find accommodation and employment for his parents and help with the relocation.
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Old 24-08-2015, 07:33 AM
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I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed the words 'Allardyce' and 'agent' in the article...
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Old 24-08-2015, 07:39 AM
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Similar story from my friend relating to a Yorkshire club. Characters not acting in the best interest of the club, private dealings going on, and no-one really caring about the wellbeing of their students.
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Old 24-08-2015, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
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I meant this statement and who it referred to:

''Nick Haycock who was incidentally forced out of West Ham by a certain person who has his own son happily in the squad.''
The academy manager is Terry Westley, whose son plays for the Under 21s.
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Old 24-08-2015, 08:46 AM
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I meant this statement and who it referred to:

''Nick Haycock who was incidentally forced out of West Ham by a certain person who has his own son happily in the squad.''
Yes - Academy manager is Terry Westley, son is Sam Westley who has followed his dad from Birmingham to West Ham. It's an unpleasant read BUT Sam Westley is a CB and Kieran Bywater a Attacking CM so dont really see one keeping the other out.

He's clearly been pushed out for his agent choice but I think it has little to do with Sam Westley - equally not nice for that young kid to be dragged through any unpleasantries.
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Old 24-08-2015, 08:47 AM
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hang on a sec: If what this guys says is true, then it's got nothing to do with the academy at all, does it? Allardyce didn't want to sign him but other staff at the club did.

Things like lack of travel expenses is poor but two things on that: 75 miles in any direction from West Ham means there would have been a Football League club nearby. But this guy only wanted a Premier League club for his son - that's his choice. And if he wasn't getting paid these expenses, why didn't he pipe up about it at the time?

Also, if his son is as good as he says then he will get a chance. To say lower league clubs don't like taking a risk is not true. If you're good enough then you will get a go. Especially an ex-West Ham Academy graduate who had a great goal scoring record.

'Some will think I’m writing this article because I’m a bitter Dad because our son didn’t get an opportunity at West Ham.' I think he is bitter and that's completely understandable. The only terrible thing in the article and one which is worth investigating is the agent story. Something that follows Allardyce around...
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Old 24-08-2015, 08:54 AM
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Interesting article on Sterling a few weeks back where it stated how young players are treated by clubs and justifying his actions because of this.

Football is cutthroat business and if club doesn't want you are out. Players do what's right for themselves just like we all do each day.
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Old 24-08-2015, 09:20 AM
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A good read with some valid points raised (especially the bit about the promises made for an in demand player).

However generally speaking it is contradictory and one sided in the extreme. Il go into in more depth when I have time, but it comes across pretty bitter to me. I cant say to much about 16,17,18 year olds but in the younger age groups when a player is released the parents ALWAYS blame the club. Their child could have a terrible attitude and be miles behind his team mates ability wise but all the parent will see is the amount of time and dedication they have put in over the years and how their child is almost certainly the next David Beckham.

Fact is at West Ham hes a terrific football education at West Ham with some of the best academy coaches in the world. If this kid is good enough he will make it.
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