Date: 19th January 2017 at 6:35pm
Written by:

Our regular readers will probably get sick of me continuing to discuss youth players and granted, it is a passion of mine that I like to share. But I think that the youth set up is pivotal in order to make any club a success and in recent years I believe that we have hit the nail on the head in terms of youth players and the philosophy that is given to them from an early age.

The club seemed to be doing more in terms of recruiting from a younger age because this is proven to work as a set up as seen as Chelsea who are arguably the best academy in Europe. So it is all positive signs and I also think that we have the right attitude in terms of loaning players out. We often go for month loans which aids development better than any other and in my opinion we produce some quality players. Look no further than Gray, Butland and Redmond for that.

But recently I have been a bit disappointed in terms of one member of the youth squads development and that is Reece Brown. The FA cup replay against Newcastle last night was the perfect game for him to play in. It would have tested him as Newcastle are a strong outfit particularly with Shelvey returning and it would have been a real confidence boost for the youngster. It also gives him minutes on the pitch in order to show to the manager what he can do. If Viv can start that game then there is no reason why Reece didn’t either.

One of the disappointing things for me in recent weeks was the departure of Alex Jones. He was doing well on loan, he did well when he played in the academy and considering Storer is still at the club; I think that Jones is certainly better than Jack. Yes, Jack is at Yeovil on loan but he is still at Birmingham unlike Jones. So I was quite surprised when we let him go as he looked a talent in an area where we need as much talent as we can get.

But aside from my ramblings, back to Reece. He is 20 years old and has done everything he can with the youth team in my opinion. There is only so many games that you can play at that level before the improvements get stilted and I think that Reece can’t improve unless he plays at a higher level. He could go out on loan but I think that it won’t benefit him to go to a club that isn’t at the same standard as he is. Maybe a league one side would be beneficial but other than that, then I think he should be in and around the first team squad; gaining vital experience. This will give him a huge boost of confidence which he needs and he is such a good player. He has the ability to make that role his own especially now Che can feed off of him.

I thought that Zola would have brought Reece into the set up. He briefly has done it wit Viv and Cogley but Brown has been left out and I think this is unfair. I hark back to Zola’s dealings with the likes of Sears in the past and he has given youth a chance. So maybe it’s the exit door for Reece? Who knows but I really do hope that he stays and gets more minutes under his belt.

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