The Irony of the Youth/Reserve System

Posted: June 12, 2011 by GaryCRobertson in England, English Premier League, Guest, Random, Transfers, Youth

Most clubs within the Premier League, all the way down to League 1, have some sort of youth or reserve system.  These systems are in place so that young boys can learn the art of how to play football.  The theory of a having an academy within the club is that one day some of them will work their way up through the system and eventually play for the first team.  The investment that the club has put in, whether it be the years and coaching or the money, is supposed to pay off in some way.  Not all boys become professional footballers and not all will end up playing for the team that they played academy football, but where does the line get drawn?  Not all of the boys will play first team football but shouldn’t some of them be able to make their way up as regular starters within the squad?
It seems that many clubs have gotten into the habit of sell, sell, sell.  They invest the time and money in a young man or even boy, but their investment never pays dividends.  Many young men find that their talents are loaned out or even sold  Many get tired of waiting for a first team call up so they leave to a club that they know they will play regular first team football.  Clubs make money on selling young, talented players to their rivals instead of trying to incorporate them within their own squad.
The big question that supporters seem to be asking themselves now is: Why do we have an Academy?  It is a legitimate question.  If all clubs are going to do is invest time and effort in a player, to then turn around and sell them to a different club, then what is the point of having an academy? Why have a surplus of players leaving and a shortage of players being incorporated within the first team?  It is very frustrating to the players and the supporters when they see young talents leaving their club when they are needed.  Many clubs sell their youth to eventually buy a player that is only a few years older but they come with a huge price tag.
Instead of selling young and talented players, more clubs should give their youth an actual chance.  They would see their efforts pay off more often than not and wouldn’t be wasting their time and money on a player from another club or country.  If more teams don’t start incorporating their youth then I see no point in even having an academy system.  That being said, I understand the importance of the academy system because of the talent it produces.  My thought is that more clubs should look within at their own youth instead of buying from an outside source.
In short, give the young lads a chance!
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Written by Amanda from Miss SW6. You can follow her on Twitter @AMANDAPCFC along with @MissSW6
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