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[Blog] Re-Building a Legacy.
Written by Mossy on Wednesday, 27th Jan 2010 19:01

We were once renowned for bringing in top class youngsters. We were patient putting them in early and developing them within the first team. But somehow we have lost this.

I have found it sad that most of the Youth Cup winning team of 2005 are no longer at the club. Surely some of those players were and are good enough?

With the arrival of Marcus Evans's money we have been far more focused on bringing in ready made players, leaving only Owen Garvan as a player brought up through the academy when, only four years prevuously we had 14 players out of a squad of 20 brought through the ranks.

This is a mistake. Evans's money will only take us so far. The losses we are incurring in bringing in these players on high wages isn't sustainable. We haven't a sheik's money, so careful planning and development of our youngsters is needed.

Up till now, our buys under Roy Keane haven't been great. There is always a risk of players you buy. Using youth more would improve our chances of getting the right players. They will also be more hungry and most of the time loyal to the club.

If we are to get ourselves into the Premiership and sustain ourselves there, we need to drag our youth policy into the 21st Century.

Watford have shown that with a top class academy, excellent facilities and set-up even when things are bad you can still compete. At time of writing they are 13th only five points off the play-offs, which is not a bad return for a club that have sold millions of pounds worth of talent over the last two years. The football they are playing is largely a joy to watch too.

What they have done is pick kids from 11-18 to be developed in schools, giving them much more time to develop them as people as well as their technical skills.

Rather than have tired kids after 5 o'clock at night, three times a week, they can train with them during the day, every day, improving the players a lot more than most academies in the country.

To have an excellent youth team needs money, we must invest in this area now. We would see the rewards within two years.

Up until a few years ago Atalanta invested over £3m a year in their youth set-up. It has paid dividends with players such as Riccardo Montolivo and Giampaolo Pazzini, two examples who have gone on to better things, earning big money moves in the last five years.

This is the way forward for our football club. Finding classy youngsters improving them, then selling them on at a massive profit, giving us the money to invest in our youth team and improve the squad as well.

With so many clubs in the Premiership and below struggling just to compete, spending ridiculous amounts of money on average players, on wages and transfer fees (let alone agents' fees!) we need another different way. Youth is it.

When we finished fifth in the Premiership back in the 2000/2001 season our team had a great crop of youth players - James Scowcroft, Titus Bramble and Richard Wright to name three.

It was only the following season we we started moving away from this bringing in expensive flops that we started to struggle.

Having an excellent youth team, once we are in the Premiership, would give us more money to invest in buying better players, far more money as you would not need to spend as much on your squad with youth players coming through.

We also would be more stable bringing in a lot fewer players into the club.

Even Norwich, who had to get relegated to realise this, are now developing their youngsters with players like George Francomb and Korey Smith coming through. They will be regular first team players for years to come.

I want this club to be admired again for being a progressive club that can show other smaller clubs you can compete in the Premiership.

The club is geared for it, so, why not plan for it? But this need to happen now. We will then reap the rewards for years to come. So many clubs neglect their youth players, we cannot allow this to continue.

We must learn from our mistakes. Change now. Before it's too late.

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

Blueknight85 added 20:53 - Jan 27
What a pointless missplaced story most likely written because one or two players you had a crush on have gone when in reality they werent any good.
we currently have garven,smith,connor wickham, played and still playing with the exception of smith who is out on loan for experiance. if you want to be cheeky you can include aran-lee-barret and richard wright to lol u could allso include trotter who i personally dont think is much of a prospect but hes not gone yet we also had shane supple and were unfortunate that he wanted to retire,clearly the youth players are coming through and getting chances and if we have less in the team these days its not by much and you cant expect to produce a darren bent and kieran dyer every year no matter how much money and opertunity you throw at your accadamy, Trotter and Smith currently have beter players infront of them thats life it is better for their development to learn from those more experianced players and displace them from the team. In the past we have relied to heavilly on youth players which has shot us in the foot we currently have a good ballance of youth and experiance. I also see no real problem with any of keanes signings just alot of fans not used to seeing new players come in and expecting the world from them streight away im disgusted at how some of our new players have been treated by our "fans"

MAVERICK added 20:55 - Jan 27
If it wasn't for Marcus Evans we would be £32 million in debt ! Have we not got a youth team then? Tribble

MAVERICK added 21:00 - Jan 27
ps. How old is Wickham? I can't believe I'm wasting my time replying to this rubbish ! COYB

RobbieScarlatti added 21:11 - Jan 27
Can we get rid of these blogs? They are rubbish.

warwickblue added 22:11 - Jan 27
Absolutely nothing wrong with the Youth Development Policy at ITFC. Loads of local youngsters involved - first class education and training provision. But making it into first team football is very, very tough - that's why ultimately so few kids do. Are we supposed to just grow a team? In 20 odd years, I could just about put together one complete "team" of home-growns...Richard Wright, Ruel Fox, Louis Donowa, Jason Dozell, Kieron Dyer, Arran Lee-Barrett, Titus and Tesfaye Bramble - otherwise you have to go shopping, even if you're getting youngsters in don't you?
When was this "legacy" kind of period when we flourished in the Premiership by playing our Youth Team?

mightytown added 23:44 - Jan 27
i have to agree, a silly blog written by a silly person who clearly has no real clue of how football clubs and their academies are run. the fact that we have a handful of players at the club now making their way through the ranks shows how in some cases, freedom of speech is misplaced. next time you've got something to share, think about it first.


mightytown added 23:48 - Jan 27
pardon my french...tit

naa added 23:51 - Jan 27
Must admit, on the face of it the blog seems sensible. Yes, we are getting in loads of players, some of them poor, some of them old. And Evans' money has meant more external signings.

But the other posts here are correct, youth is in the team and on the fringes. No-one can expect more than three youth players in any eleven and with Smith, Trotter (though I don't rate him), Garvan and Wickham all around the first team this year that doesn't seem too bad.

The fact that none of them are worldbeaters is because that kind of player comes along very rarely.

brendanh added 00:52 - Jan 28
Couldn't agree more. The only way Town has ever and will ever have success is by developing its own players. We aren't a fashionable club in a big city - even with money we won't buy success. See below article I wrote highlighting the little use we made of the best crop of young players in the country in 2005 in comparison to other youth cup winning teams:


One of the joys of being an Ipswich fan is watching the Darren Bents and Kieron Dyers make their debut, improve and eventually go on to represent their country. I don't think our Academy lacks money, it lacks an investment of faith by successive Ipswich managers in the form of first team appearances. This breeds failure: if I was a talented youngster deciding which acadamy to join, I'd choose one that has a better record of first-team progression than Ipswich. Selling Jordan Rhodes before giving him a single starting appearance was scandalous. Not what I signed up for when I became a Town fan.

Bluedandy added 07:38 - Jan 28
"I also see no real problem with any of keanes signings just alot of fans not used to seeing new players come in" - glorious piffle from Blueknight95.
Despite spending millions on Lee Martin, Tamas Priskin and Carlos Edwards they have conspicuously failed to deliver. The likes of David Johnson or indeed Jon Walters did not take time. Why? Because at this level they were/are quality. Our main attacking threats, paltry though they are, remain legacies of Magilton's reign. Also it's obvious to anyone with an appreciation of the club's history that homegrown talent like Rhodes would not have been sold in the past unless forced by finances. If Argyle win game in hand we are 2 points off relegation zone. Wake up and remove your blinkers Blueknight95.

Swampy added 09:28 - Jan 28
The use of homegrown talent seemed to end during the Burley era although to be blunt BFJ only played the youngsters because he had no cash to spend so Ambrose & Bent flourished.
Jim had cash to spend and spent it = not necessarily wisely & I for one feel the team was generally worse at the end of Jims reign than it was when he took over.
As for RK well - the jury is still out; totting it up he has spent circa £10 Mill put that with the circa £12 that Jim spent and the total is £20 mill + makes it one of the most expensive teams in the division BUT for what you see on the field of play you would not think that - would you?
I agree with Bluedandy - we are too close to the relegation zone for comfort and give too much away, on a regular basis, to look like we are a team that will steadily climb rather than stay struggling.
Unless Mr Evans has told RK he has a whole bunch of cash for the future and the future is buy instead of grow we have to rely on Sammy Morgan to produce - so why did Brian Klug go ?

naa added 10:19 - Jan 28
Must admit when thinking about who we should get in as a striker I thought that we need to look at young players in the lower divisions who may be capable of making the step up. And when you look there, there is one glaringly obvious signing at Huddersfield.


And I don't care what any Keane apologist may say. That was a mistake. Always was, always will be. And it's hard to get over when we're so lacking in goals and Wickham is so obviously too young.

Generally, our use of youth has waned in recent years but also, they are coming through, just maybe not in the quality and numbers we would like.

Blueknight85 added 10:46 - Jan 28
bluedandy...clearly misses meeting magilton in a back ally after the games.
chelsea bought schevchenko a prolific goal scoring macine and he was kak while he was there thats life, some players start off kak then end up being your best players for years to come. Lee martin is a young player who was playing very well but held up in his development at utd by a few injurys when out on loan but was playing well for utds reserves and well worth a punt hes barely played in the middle which is where he had been playing under solskjar, and is by no means a failed signing yet his first season is not even over "Martin joined Ipswich Town on 6 July 2009 for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year contract"
Tamas Priskin is also still a young player full of potential and if i had a mortgage i would put it on next season being very gd for him if he doesnt come to hate our "fans" to much and want to leave Priskin enjoyed a fairly successful 2008/09 campaign. "He finished 15th top scorer in the Championship with 14 goals in all competitions, including memorable strikes against Premiership clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in the League Cup and FA Cup respectively. Many Watford fans who had doubted his abilities were won over by his improved performances from November onwards" "became well-known for his skill, pace, and deadly finishing." Obviously he was worth a punt also for an undisclosed fee only "believed" to be 1.7m which is probably after top ups off some nature
Carlos edwards is not a young player lol but based on his history in the league you cant really blame any1 for buying him lol just like every1 else though he can still come good and has retired from international footbal to concerntrate on his ipswich career you have to give him respect for that as he could probably play for them untill he is 50.
i did have alot more to say but it wont make a difference as most of you are a bunch of old tarts with nothing better to do than argue about something your not quallified to have an opinion on and pretend you could manage a football team.
your all just pissed off because we had a bad start to the season and you like to think you have the experiance to know why its people like you that would have 10 managers at your club in 2 seasons if you owned one. The job of a ipswich fan is not to get on the backs of any1 but to support the team and staff under any situation and help them through it, the home support of the team on matchday is of more concern than anything else and the only thing the fans should concern themselves with. if you have a child doing badly in school you wouldnt slate them and tell them to feck off to some other school blame the Dr. who deliverd him and have a new baby to replace him, you woud encourage him and give him something worth working for. the majority of ipswich fans are becoming drunk abusive parents slapping their kids about in comparison. (just to note the kids are all the players not just the homegrown they all deserve our support)

naa added 11:15 - Jan 28
Blueknight85: not going to argue with your points as many of them are valid. But to say that "...nothing better to do than argue about something your not quallified to have an opinion on..." (sic) at the end of a post in which you've spent a large number of words catagorically stating your opinion as if it is right seems remarkably hypocritical to me.

What you seem to be saying is that people are allowed to state an opinion on here, as long as it agrees with you. If it doesn't then they aren't qualified to do so.


Surco72 added 11:54 - Jan 28
Blueknight in both your comments you open with "gay jibes" anything you want to tell us ?

Like you say some signings are crap and dont work ,like Shevchenko the key is to notice this early like Chelsea did and not play him before getting rid or linger on hoping it will come right like Magilton did with Lisbie .

Like you say none of us are qualified managers of football so i will follow what Keanes descisions are and since he has dropped Martin,Priskin and Edwards in recent weeks we have seen results improve

MyBlueHeaven added 12:29 - Jan 28
decent blog for once. just because you don't agree with it (in part or whole) doesn't mean you have start slagging all and sundry off. opinions... opinions... opinions.

there seems to be less focus on the youth set up at the moment than in previous years. getting rid of klug, without really saying why, has only added to peoples' undertainty over what is happening in the academy.

i'm not too worried at the moment about (seemingly) lack of progress with young players - with keane, evans and a semi-open cheque book around, the kids are never going to get the headlines - but would like to be re-assured by the club that the academy is as important to us now as it has been in the past.

devontractorboy added 12:36 - Jan 28
Blueknight85 'bad start to the season' it's nearly February for f**k sake, wake up and smell the coffee, this season thus far has been an unmittigated disaster!
Please don't think because you hold a different opinion to others that it makes you right, you are entitled to your opinion, but so are others!!
I don't like Roy Keane, but I hope he takes us to the Premiership, pardon me however becaause at this moment in time I can't see how that's gonna happen, can you, honestly?????

Bluedandy added 12:38 - Jan 28
blueknight85 ... kicking off your rambling response with an infantile homophobic jibe sums up your argument ... ta ta

RRanger added 12:45 - Jan 28
The fact that Roy Keane was at the last FA Youth Cup game and was visibly delighted at the ITFC performance and also his sensible use of Connor Wickham so far this season shows I think that he values our Academy.
I wouldn't be surprised if later in the season when we are safe but unlikely to make the playoffs, we don't see a couple more of our youngsters in the 1st team squad.

Blueknight85 added 13:57 - Jan 28
naa...i had no catergoric views ther than the players and staff should be supported what ever the case may be which you cant argue with.

surco...reults have been better since they were dropped just like the team got better when garven,delaney, and others were dropped they then came back better.

devontractorboy....maybe you should look at a form table.... http://www.statto.com/football/stats/england/league-championship/2009-2010/form- this is the last 6 games...but if you do a custom table and chose from sept.-february and then look at otc-february and so on i think you will be pleasently suprised as to how it was a bad "start" to the season and has vastly improved.

the main point is we have just as much youth in and coming through as we allways have and even then you need a ballence which we currently have between the two although it is a nice well written blog the facts are missplaced.
and brian klug hasnr been the youth coach since magilton was apointed he only went back to lose title of "youth development" or football development what ever it was when john gorman replaced him as first team coach. going back to coaching the kids was probably a demotion for him which he might not have wanted
as for the gay jibes its a blog experiment along the lines of the "mentioning hitler done it so it must bad" as featured n bbc's Qi. where b y the blooger who uses such an arguement stops the argument abruptly but is viewed as a prat. and also interesting that meeting jim in a bcak ally is instantly viewd as a gay jibe i mentioned nothing of hmosexual activities mayb jim just didnt want to be seen chatting with a fan....

Surco72 added 14:09 - Jan 28
Blueknight when Garvan got dropped we won once in 13 games including the embarrassing 4-0 stuffing at home by Newcastle how did the results get better ? Since Garvans return and the new signings Leadbitter apart have been dropped we have won 5 games ,they start appearing in the team again and 1 win in four ,coincidence ?
And as for look at the form table any team can have a run of easy games thrown up by the fixtures so it means very little which is why promotion and relegation is done by looking at the league table

Blueknight85 added 16:55 - Jan 28
surco- garven was playing kak putting very little work in letting players go by him in midfield he was dropped for it and came back better that is the point winning once in 13 games cant be put down to him alone being dropped ANY TEAM CAN BE GIVEN A RUN OF TOUGH GAMES. 4-0 deafeat to an excepional newcastle team that were let in easilly by a lying half injured alex bruce can hardly be held as an example. You are completely forgetting the other new signing in rossenior and delany 1 of which was awful at first and came back in to be a key part of the better form. the likes of edwards priskin and martin have not peformed and were dropped they were brought back in to be tested against a league one side in a cup game that we shouldnt have any reqal concern for they failed and were dropped again they could just have easilly improved like garven and delaney did after being dropped and still could no player should be sold after only 6 months at a club especially young ones. And the point of looking at the form table was for DEVONTRACTORBOY who stated "'bad start to the season' it's nearly February for f**k sake, wake up and smell the coffee, this season thus far has been an unmittigated disaster!" which is clearly an exageration as the form table proves. ontop of that PROMOTION AND RELEGATION ARE ALSO DONE AT THE END OF THE SEASON by the league table not with just over 3 months left to play and there is no reason why this same squad of players couldnt win the league next year that is after all "football"
the bottom line still remains that the accadmy has not gone to pot there is as much youth being used as allways, you cant expect to produce darren bent every season no matter what you do with your accademy. the way our new players and manager and staff have been treated by some "fans" is disgusting after such little time those fans are no better than the QPR owners And the support for a team should be concerntrated in the stands cheering and encourageing our players who ever they are and however they have played in the past regardless of wether they are bought in or homegrown not treat them like they are craig bellamy or darren huckerby come round to vandalise the ground, the support for our team at home games in paticular in recent years has been a joke its like being at funeral some weeks even when the football is good we should be singing loud and proud for 90 minuites week in week out it would probably be worth an extra 6 points on the board

naa added 19:48 - Jan 28
bloody hell blueknight you need to calm down. A couple of people suggest that they don;'t agree with your opinion and it's all out war!

It's called debate, don't get so worked up about it.

Blueknight85 added 20:48 - Jan 28
it wouldnt be much of a debate if there was no return.....
i have no need to calm down iv not been agressive just written alot lol

naa added 21:17 - Jan 28
Fair enough. When I actually ploughed through it it wasn't overly aggressive. But you really could do with editing your posts a bit!

And occasionally putting a paragraph in.

And spell-checking them ;-)

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