L 5-0 vs Milton Keynes Dons (A) - League Two - Fri 29th March, 3pm

Yes and that is a good thing. I fully support what we are doing in that area.

But it is important to differentiate that from the actual academy that at some point will have to start producing players for us or ones that get sold at a young age such as the lad that Southampton took off us a few years back

I don’t really accept your parameters, I would count Dann and Paterson as “ours”, as we helped them become successes and they started their careers with us, so there’s those two, plus Platt, Ricketts, Bates, Benning, Nicholls, Taundry, Roper, Keates, Thomas, Birch, Bradley, Westlake, Smith, Roberts, Fryatt, Henry, Kinsella, Bakayoko, Tank, Bennett, Demontognac, Preston, plus Kory Roberts and Kouyhar who were both derailed by injuries.
I expect I’ve missed a few, and I haven’t checked so can’t be certain none of them played elsewhere beforehand, but I don’t think they did (my mistake if so) and also I have no idea if we received a fee for Andy Bishop when he left, or Karl Hawley. Probably not, but I don’t know.

The list is a bit thin of late, but not too bad overall, especially as I must have missed a few from the last 30 years.

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@WalsallOne i don’t know why Walsall FC would have any aim other than

  1. producing a first team player capable of making a contribution
  2. producing a player you can sell on

Any other reason for having a youth system would not make sense ?

What you are missing is the percentage of these developed by someone else’s system who come in and take the slots of those who we’ve spent time and resources on since we they were 8/9/10

Example. Ishmel would have been at Charlton ? We’d have had a player plays his position at U16. He’d have spent how many years at WFC ? And is then let go because a better talent comes along.

Right decision yes.
Waste of money and resources on the lad let go Yes

I’d hazard a guess at least half that list only signed for WFC at 16yo ! In time to play for the Youth Team.

Well that is where we disagree . JT has put a good list of players who we produced. I am pleased with that.

But if you get them at 16 you can’t class them
as produced. The ones you worked on producing up until 16 are let go in their spot. You’ve wasted thousands of pounds on them.

Do an away with the Academy. Have a YT and Res team.

Nonsense. You think no development takes place beyond 16 . As someone whose career involved training I can tell you most development takes place after that age. Some people need to get into their twenties to develop fully as long as the culture is right. The club therefore deserve credit for producing that culture.

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This. Perhaps its a sentimental view in a more business focused football world, but i believe all clubs should be serving their towns and communities.

As for the argument of picking up players at a later age, its something we should prioritise, there is plenty of talent to scoop up thats been spat out of larger academies.


I understand there is some development and that it’s formative as part of the YT.

But the point I’m making is that a large proportion, especially the more successful ones are developed by others up until 16. WFC essentially waste time and money up to this point.

We may as well just focus on recruitment at 16.

I always thought David Edwards was a really exciting prospect whose career was cruelly cut short by injury, to follow the misfortune of Ian Paul ad Don Penn. Whether those three count as being “developed” by us, I don’t know!

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They are outside the 30 years anyway. But, yes, he looked a good prospect.

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For smaller teams, the academy has two roles. First nurturing players, who may be sold later. Second increasing fanbase. Only a few players from school teams reach high levels of football, but many could have some affinity towards the club and later return as supporters. It’s not that easy to say, the academy is bad because no good players were found. Similar would be trying to sign only players, who scored more goals and forget about the rest.

Just caught up after a weekend away.

Thought we started well, Faal has to score one of those chances.

We were shite as soon as they scored. Daniels was very poor and looked unfit.

Stirk and Tierney have never impressed me much. Runners more than footballers.

MK the best team I’ve seen this season to be fair.


It won’t be next season because he won’t be here

Sadler likes runners that’s why DJ never plays

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And Martin Goldsmith and Paul Jones