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The fabled pathway: it does exist!


Fordy62
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13 hours ago, Fordy62 said:

It’s funny isn’t it? 

Weve always talked a lot about the pathway. It was a buzz word. But in reality, that pathway was anything but open in the tenure of previous incumbents. If we needed a player, the academy was the last place we’d look  we’d just buy another - a Diony, a Wells, dare I say a Rodri (god I had banished him to some far part of my brain!).

It’s taken years and years of over spending - buying players who ‘aren’t on the bus’, picking up nearly 30k/week for us to realise that the pathway actually was the answer all along. 

There were 7 clear pathways against Millwall and 5 against Cardiff yesterday. 

I think many of us agreed that we’d be prepared to fare slightly worse in the league if it meant that the pathway was genuinely open and genuinely open it now is. 

Whether it’s Nige’s eye, a particularly talented crop, being financially hamstrung  into it or just a simple win against Cardiff is anyone’s guess, but these are exciting times for the team. 

But we must remember that players so young will make mistakes. They may get the occasional drubbing, they will make silly mistakes and from time to time they’ll be anonymous… but so long as we remember they’re young and still learning and we have patience, then we’ll reap in the long term. 

It’s been a fantastic weekend. Here’s to Tuesday. 🍻 

I don't know about anyone else but it's nice to have a healthy sprinkling of Bristolian in the team 😄 takes me back to being rather fond of Louis Carey.  I'm somewhat more emotionally invested.

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Its also making a lot more sense why Pearson seems to like buying 30+yr old ex-Prem players, players that younger ones can learn from, can manage games and provide experience when required.  I can see a team of 6-7 Academy products backed up by 4-5 older heads is going to be far less risky than spending millions on the likes of Wells, Kalas and Massengo - even though the latter two have worked out well, there is no denying the financial risk we've taken on them. 

I don't think we'll do that in the future, it will be a mix of older, experienced players, or only buying younger players from the lower leagues where no obvious Academy product exists, such as with Atkinson and Tanner.  

I think its a smart move, will be far cheaper in terms of transfer fees and wages, and far less risky as you don't have massive investment tied to players that needs to be recouped by onwards transfers, plus as others have said provides a route out of the top of the Academy and a return on those investments.  All just good business.

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15 hours ago, GrahamC said:

8 of yesterday’s squad were produced by us.

I know Pring had a spell early on at Cheltenham & Semenyo was at SGS before we signed him, but that’s splitting hairs.

Amazing achievement, I’m sure there are a few other Championship sides doing similar (Derby? Millwall?) but ours in terms of both volume & quality is doing exceptionally well & personally I’d rather see a side with so much local representation in the Championship than a side with barely anyone British in the Prem.

Success breeds success, if a 14 year old see's lots of home grown talent in the first team he is far more likely to join us

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After a really tough couple of seasons, we are starting to see a team we can be proud of for the first time in years. Players from our own youth system like Scott, Benarous, Semenyo and Pring have a great attitude and not only enormous potential, but they are showing their qualities now. Then there are the likes of Tanner and Atkinson, the sort of signings we should be making. Added to existing, experienced players like Weimann and Kalas, who are excellent role models,  things are looking up. We are still in transition and there will be bumps along the way, but I really feel we have turned the corner and the future is bright. 

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42 minutes ago, HiddenGem7 said:

Its also making a lot more sense why Pearson seems to like buying 30+yr old ex-Prem players, players that younger ones can learn from, can manage games and provide experience when required.  I can see a team of 6-7 Academy products backed up by 4-5 older heads is going to be far less risky than spending millions on the likes of Wells, Kalas and Massengo - even though the latter two have worked out well, there is no denying the financial risk we've taken on them. 

I don't think we'll do that in the future, it will be a mix of older, experienced players, or only buying younger players from the lower leagues where no obvious Academy product exists, such as with Atkinson and Tanner.  

I think its a smart move, will be far cheaper in terms of transfer fees and wages, and far less risky as you don't have massive investment tied to players that needs to be recouped by onwards transfers, plus as others have said provides a route out of the top of the Academy and a return on those investments.  All just good business.

Agree with that.  Think we will also see whether we can get mid-range age players on a free this summer, or raid the likes of Barnsley for their best players young(ish) on the cheap when they go down…which they’ll do v.well to avoid.

Brad Collins - GK - sweeper keeper would suit us (24)

Mads Andersen - CB - 6’4” dominant in the air at both ends (24)

Callum Brittain - RWB - really tidy wingback (23)

Josh Benson - CM - (22)

Jordan Williams - LWB / RWB - good on either side (22)

Callum Styles - LCM / LW / LWB - talented (21)

 

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12 hours ago, Harry said:

Seems like another excuse for Fordy to have a veiled pop at LJ! 
Yes, it’s brilliant that we’ve now got players graduating who seem to be good enough for the first team. 
LJ played Kelly when many fans were getting on his back for being too young and error prone. He played him knowing that mistakes would be made but also in the knowledge that he was putting him in the shop window. 
LJ tried to play a few others - Dowling, Morrell, Hinds. Others were on the fringes and regularly being reviewed to see if they were ready - Holden, LemonheighEvans, McCoulsky and the like. 
Perhaps the crop of youngsters during 2015-2020 (Kelly aside) were nowhere near good enough, hence they weren’t thrown in.

Proof is in the pudding - Kelly aside, name 1 academy player during the LJ era, that he should have ‘blooded’ who has gone on to better themselves? 
There are none. 
 

Yes, we should all be really pleased that we’ve now got so many youngsters in the first team squad on merit. But the youngsters during the LJ era were nowhere near good enough, and I feel that Fordy is using a positive situation to slant a negative at LJ (again). 

Without wishing to trawl over old ground, I have to agree with this: LJ tried to and did blood some youngsters and the reality is with time/hindsight, only Kelly has gone on to prove capable at this level or above. 

Under Pearson we have a manager willing to and capable of blooding and developing youngsters, but it's important to say it has also coincided with a) the need to use youth to bulk the squad and b) some real talent being produced from the system put in place by the club several years ago.

Was it @Cowshed who was particularly vocal against the club with regards to the academy in recent seasons? (They seemed to have some personal experience through an acquaintance?) - What's your opinion currently? Genuine question.

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On 24/01/2022 at 12:48, Alessandro said:

Without wishing to trawl over old ground, I have to agree with this: LJ tried to and did blood some youngsters and the reality is with time/hindsight, only Kelly has gone on to prove capable at this level or above. 

Under Pearson we have a manager willing to and capable of blooding and developing youngsters, but it's important to say it has also coincided with a) the need to use youth to bulk the squad and b) some real talent being produced from the system put in place by the club several years ago.

Was it @Cowshed who was particularly vocal against the club with regards to the academy in recent seasons? (They seemed to have some personal experience through an acquaintance?) - What's your opinion currently? Genuine question.

I had no crystal ball. I reiterated what coaches had told me. 

I was posting about a dumbing down of the academy and a lack of joined up thinking. I formerly posted that Tinnion was in danger of leaving the club, and that coaches were unhappy with how homegrown talent was being overlooked. Days later the same appeared in the Bristol post. I didn't make it up, the Bristol post didn't either, it was what was being said within the FC. Coaches were utterly exasperated by seeing dross being paid handsomely to do what youngsters here could do as well and better. Young players get damaged that way because they are denied opportunity and experience.

The later elevation of Brian Tinnions role and influence is helping create the success of promoting promising players. City finances lead to a position of highlighting we always had talent in the building v the consistent buying in of the not very good. 

 

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