News with views from the No1 Spurs website

Friday, 29 July 2016

Under-21 changes to make no difference

Ged Roddy, the Premier League's new Head of Football Development after seven years as Head of Youth doesn't seem to have grasped that if one set of development players are playing against another set of development players that it isn't meaningful football.

"Sir Alex Ferguson would say, 'give me 30 meaningful games a season for a young player who is transitioning to the first team and we've got a chance'. So this season if you blend all of those competitions together you'll be able to create a 30-game programme for your young player. That was a target for us and I think a target for many of the coaches to make sure their players get enough of the right sort of games. If they do that well, and I'm sure they will, I think you`ll get an immediate impact."

A meaningful game is when you play against and with experienced players. Thirty games on loan are worth a lot more than thirty games against other development players who are still learning the game themselves and where tackling or physical contact is few and far between.

You can rehash the Development structure all you like but until you return to kids playing football with and against adults it still will leave them with a big gap to step up and mean loans remain an important part of football. A youngster hardly has to fight for a place in a development game whereas on loan he has to fight to get into the team and has to toughen up mentally, something not always possible in the comfort zone of development football.


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