Vital Football

Latest Fulham FC News

Fulham - The 'Youf'

Fulham - The 'Youf'

I'm one of those guys who likes a fairytale story; you know, a rags to riches kind of thing?

That's why I've always been a little disappointed (albeit secretly) with Fulham's ability to produce fine young footballers.

The only recent exception which springs to mind with regards to the above statement is that of Chris Smalling, but even he was a man who began his career elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong, I am of the whole-hearted opinion that Fulham do have a fine academy at hand, which is well run and produces good talent, yet, there's a gap between Reserve and Premier League football that Mr Continuity himself, Roy Hodgson, never helped bridge.

I'm sure, had Hodgson's tenure spanned over more than two-and-a-bit years, then perhaps a youngster or two would have been pitted against the big boys, but during Roy's reign I never felt he was going drop the tried-and-tested in favour of a fresher more youthful formula.

It is, however, of no detriment to Roy that I write this, as he ultimately won us football matches. Yet, given that we played so many games last season, I would have been one of few that welcomed the opportunity to flaunt some of the talent that were coming through the ranks at Motspur Park.

Wayne Brown, for example, is a player who showed great promise and is someone I kept an eye out for on his loan periods at both TPS Turku of Finland and Bristol Rovers. Hodgson himself took his time to praise the midfielder, but, he was never given that run in the first team to fulfill his potential.

Instead, he is shipped off along with many others who were given scholarships and given hope, only to be ignored at the final hurdle.

We do, like many clubs, possess a first eleven which has been bred from a whole host of varying youth systems; any youth system but our own.

It's a common thing and English football has come to grips with that. However, while we spend our mornings sipping tea and reading the paper, bemoaning yet more woeful England performances and calling for a more youthful aspect, we have to realise that the future of England starts at club level. It always has.

The National team will never truly create a 'Golden Generation' to be proud of unless sides like ours, sides that don't field star-studded line-ups every weekend, are able to filter through just a few little gems for their respective national coaches to sit up and take notice of.

Our new manager, Mark Hughes, gratefully seems to be a man who is fully aware of the positives some younger players can bring to a team.

The willingness to learn and impress is a good foundation upon which to build with younger players, and add to that the emotional connection they will hold with the club. I for one would be more eager to perform at a 'boyhood' club than any other and I'm sure any academy players that are given the opportunity will play with their heart on their sleeve.

Of course, success is paramount in football, and with the naivety of inexperienced players comes an element of risk. It is often said though, that risk comes hand in hand with reward, and I for one am of the opinion that Mark Hughes should be one to take a risk and begin to bring through our academy starlets.

I'm not asking for a revamped starting eleven of pre-pubescent 12 year-olds, but a steady stream of good young players being given that opportunity to impress, rather than rotting in the woeful competition that reserve football can bring.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Kristian Balkin
Date:Friday August 20 2010
Time: 9:17PM

Best of Vital Network

Comments

0
Kristian - can you me at ANDREWJOYCE123@HOTMAIL.CO.UK - thanks
Putney
20/08/2010 21:27:00
0
youth is good look at young stickdale but alot of priemer leauge clubs dont want to risk it but thow one in for the last 20 minuets might not do much harm
truth sayer ffc
21/08/2010 15:42:00
0
And that's all I'm asking. Would love to see Briggsy get a few minutes on the field over the coming months.
KBFulham
21/08/2010 16:39:00
0
good points all around... it's tough for managers all around, as they need to focus on the results in the present in order to not get fired, instead of results on the long term to bring forth youth in the squad... listen to the groundswell on this site... we're all looking for a replacement for danny boy, wouldn't it be great if it came from within the club... stockdale looks like a keeper, which is to mean someone to hold on to, not the position he plays... we need more of that...
woodysweats
23/08/2010 14:48:00
0
still all the good young lads get snaped up by the big clubs even paying big money for teenagers which makes there youth policy look good man u arsenal ect there young star dont come from near by those days are gone
truth sayer ffc
23/08/2010 20:11:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Fulham Articles

Woodrow in Fine Form for England U21's

The England U21 squad are currently playing in a tournament in Toulon, France.

Fulham After Blackburn Skipper

With the transfer embargo lifted, Fulham are looking to improve their squad for next season.

Fulham - FL Dates 2016/17 (23/5/16)

The Football League have released the key dates for the coming 2016/17 season.

Who Will Fulham Face In 2016/17 (22/5/16)

With no matches remaining in the regular 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Archived Vital Fulham Articles

Vital Fulham articles from

Site Journalists

Andrew Joyce
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v Bolton (h)?
Suggested By: putney
Bettinelli6%
Fredericks1%
Hutchinson2%
Burn12%
Ream1%
Cairney48%
Parker5%
Tunnicliffe5%
Christensen1%
McCormack9%
Smith1%
Stearman1%
Hyndman5%
Garbutt3%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Fulham Results (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.bbei6377