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Feeder clubs - AVFC missing a trick?


villanwesty88
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Villa have a long history of producing players through the academy that go on to play professionally - something that I think all Villa fans are proud of. 
I've often wondered why we don't have a feeder club though? The natural steps for a young player seem to be:

Academy football
U16
U18
U21/Reserve/Next Gen Series
Loan spell
First team

 

Obviously this isn't always the case - for example players like Wayne Rooney at 16 skipped many of those steps.

Agbonlahor and Weimann have had loan spells and have become top players for us. I feel like there is a point in a young players career where it can go one of two ways and if they are playing first team football they have a better chance of making it at Villa Park. 

 

I felt that Albrighton should have been loaned out a couple of seasons ago instead of sitting on the bench and the same with Delfouneso - two of our brightest talents that we were all hoping to see great things from have not produced what we hoped. I put some of that down to not playing.

 

So, why don't we have a feeder club system to make it easier to loan players to a club to ensure players will play?

You only have to look here to see how many feeder clubs some English sides have. Our very own Matty Lowton benefited from some time in Hungary when at Sheff Utd. Man Utd have been loaning players out for years - I seem to remember a lot of their players going to Antwerp. Imagine the benefits players get from going abroad - they are completely out of their comfort zone with language barriers and cultural differences etc, not knowing anyone. I think it would help a lot of young players to mature and come back mentally stronger. I think Matty Lowton has touched on this before in an interview.

 

What do you think? Would have a few feeder clubs benefit us? Personally I do and I've always wondered why we haven't explored it. 

 

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Don't think it would be a bad thing. Like you say, to send a player abroad will certainly help them grow up and live independently, at which point they'll only be judged on what they do on the pitch, not they've done before or their reputation as a 'prospect'. 

 

I don't think it's a necessity though, if they player is any good we'll find them a loan spell in the football league. 

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I'd be quite the fan of having Crewe, they give youth a chance in a huge way, play the game in the right way too, so would be great to get the likes of Grealish and Graham a season there to really spur their careers forwards. Plus it should help Crewe out.

 

Then, when they look at selling their talent, we can go in for them plus send a potential replacement back on loan if need be.

 

i.e. Sign Luke Murphy, send Grealish, Carruthers or Johnson to them in return

 

Sign Max Clayton, send Drennan or Burke the other way for a season.

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With our Category 1 academy status though we should be poaching the best youngsters anyway, like what Arsenal have done to us with Crowley. It's harsh and not a nice part of the football business but it could be incredibly effective for us.

 

But hiring some scouts to basically scout the youth teams of clubs like Crystal Palace, Southampton, Crewe and Sheffield United and poach the best of what comes through as they can sign professional contracts would be hugely beneficial.

 

Of those clubs, only Southampton also have a Category 1 Academy, the other 3 all have Category 2. Meaning if we sign one of their players aged 12-16 we would only have to pay £25k* per year they have been there from the age of 12. (+£3k for every year they were there between ages 9-11).

 

Meaning it is very possible the likes of the next Wilfried Zaha, Victor Moses, Nathaniel Clyne, Matt Lowton, Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton, Ash Westwood, Nick Powell, Max Clayton etc etc for a *maximum* of £109k. 

 

Potentially an absolute steal.

 

Then give these players time in the NextGen series and loan them out to some feeder clubs would be lovely.

 

*And only 40k a year if we were to sign some Southampton youngsters. A maximum of £169k for the next Shaw, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bale or Walcott also an absolute steal, although with the huge success those players have had (plus their club doing similarly to our own) I imagine it would be harder to poach theirs.

Edited by HalfTimePost
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I thought we had a special relationship with Walsall?

Don't think so, can't think of any that have gone there.. I have always thought we should use Walsall though, would benefit both teams and they have tendency to play young players anyway.

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I'd be quite the fan of having Crewe, they give youth a chance in a huge way, play the game in the right way too, so would be great to get the likes of Grealish and Graham a season there to really spur their careers forwards. Plus it should help Crewe out.

 

Then, when they look at selling their talent, we can go in for them plus send a potential replacement back on loan if need be.

 

i.e. Sign Luke Murphy, send Grealish, Carruthers or Johnson to them in return

 

Sign Max Clayton, send Drennan or Burke the other way for a season.

This suits us but not necessarily them, if they take our players it potentially stops the next max clayton \ Luke murphy getting game time, helps us but in the long term hinders them.

 

For a team like Crewe and many of the lower league teams bringing their own players through is an important part of then staying afloat.

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I thought we had a special relationship with Walsall?

Don't think so, can't think of any that have gone there.. I have always thought we should use Walsall though, would benefit both teams and they have tendency to play young players anyway.

 

Couple of Villa kids in their team could boost their home gates too.

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I don't think having one feeder club to loan players works. That club has its own priorities, they will only want to fill a certain position and their priorities are points, not the development of another teams player's. You can't just send two or three players a year to them and expect them to accommodate them.  It should be about finding a loan for the player where they will get regular appearances and have a manager that will be good for them.

 

We do use the loan system. Bannan has had 3 spells, Herd 3 , Delfouneso 3, Baker 3, Wiemann 1, Lihaj 3, Gardener 1, Johnson 1.

 

They aren't always successful but obviously a learning experience. Next year Carruthers, Burke and Williams might get the opportunity.

 

However, some players don't need it. If they are standing out in the reserve team and finding it easy, yet not on the verge of the first team, thats when they need a loan so they don't stagnate. 

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i agree that we need a feeder club to take their good youngsters and pass off our failers

 

but theres not many lower league clubs that garrenty at least a couple of talented kids every season

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