Goals Galore!

It’s goals galore at Walsall, but at both ends of the pitch… We look at the improvement in attack, but also what the issues are in defence, with a similar theme across many of the goals we have conceded.

With Sadler now seeming settled on a 4-2-3-1, we take an early look at where Sadler needs to strengthen in January, and also how Drogheda may help us in future windows.

As well as that, we share a concerning message about the academy…

Apple Podcasts - ‎Yellow Ribbon Podcast: Episode 19: Goals Galore! on Apple Podcasts

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As ever, we hope you enjoy the episode!


I listened last night and really enjoyed it.
The piece about the academy was a real eye opener to say the least.
Congratulations on yet another great podcast boys (excellent stuff).

If the stuff about the Academy is true, then that’s horrendously incompetent.

I honestly can’t see how it’s true.

You don’t register Academy teams like a local grassroots and ‘forget’ to add the u12s…the academy register with the FA for schoolboy age groups 9-16 and scholars 18s.

What sometimes happens is clubs don’t run regular fixtures for 15s. It’s partly to do with school and partly to do with the natural thinning out process. Fixtures for 9-14s are on Sundays and the 16/18s at the same venue as each other on a Saturday. Clubs will generally take their best 16s and push them into the 18s early and the best 15s fill the 16s.

Players sign annually from 9-12 and then they sign bi-annually or sometimes for 4 years from there on. By 14 you have a clearer picture on who’s worth keeping but need to sign for min 2 years or release and push whats left into the 16s early.

This often leaves clubs with no real need for 15s games programme.

Like we said in the pod, we received a detailed message from a source about it, we cannot confirm the truth to the situation but felt it was worth discussing given the topic of our episode before.

We do hope it isn’t true as it would be a deep concern and worry if these things weren’t being done.

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I’m sure Walsall have an under 12’s team that competes in the midland junior premier league that plays on Saturday mornings,

I know the foundation have teams … people get mixed up between the foundation and the academy one is not the academy the other is.

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I was just wondering if the club had chosen to not run a 15s for the reasons mentioned above and the email was from a disgruntled u15 who hadn’t fully understood the reasoning……

“We’re releasing your son this year, because we don’t have an u15s age group……” etc etc etc

I have no idea, I was only speculating….

Think your spot on with your analysis that’s also my experience of the academy system at all levels 15-16 is very much an age we’re a decision is made about a young player .those they keep inevitably go on to play against 18year olds it’s very difficult to find good competitive games at 15 year level .and often have to travel long distances to find games that can test them .

Are they not the same thing until post 16’s when they go to the academy

My understanding is the structure at Walsall works like this: Foundation to Academy

  1. You can apply by sending a kids “CV” to the foundation in advance of open training sessions. They are then assessed over a three week period.
  2. Then a decision is made which sees them taking part in Saturday morning sessions only, or progressing into the gifted and talented programme. If you make it into this stage you pay money for kits and other fees and your kid may or may not play Saturday JPL and friendlies.
  3. If they do well they are then linked to the academy as a recommendation. It is at this stage that you sign a youth contract and become a part of the academy.

In some circumstances a kid will get scouted - either via a scout at JPL/ MJPL or Sunday grass roots games. An approach is then made and a kid can be signed directly to the academy - again on a youth contract.

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Hi all. We reached out to the club about the message and this is their official response. Very relieved it is not a basic admin error in the academy

As always….a parent not having a clue between academy and foundation. Normally the clubs do very little to help educate them too. Recruiting players into the foundation helps financially and so not making a parent perfectly clear that it’s NOT the academy is often overlooked….