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Lower league talent

Plenty of young, hungry talent in the lower leagues worth a look at, as we have done with the likes of Mawson while Burnley’s Tarkowski
initially made his name at Oldham.

Charlton’s Joe Aribo impressed against our U23’s as did speedy left winger Ahearne Grant and midfielder Reeco Fairchild. Far too good for our U23’s and at the moment a bit raw for the PL but 20 yr old Aribo is worth keeping an eye on.

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Comments

  • Any fan should be able to recommend a player to the scouting department
    That way you have at least 20,000 scouts and a lot of new ideas
    Why not?
    Bob
  • Think you will get a better chance of contacting Putin than our DoF.
    deejay
  • Plenty of young, hungry talent in the lower leagues worth a look at, as we have done with the likes of Mawson while Burnley’s Tarkowski
    initially made his name at Oldham.

    Charlton’s Joe Aribo impressed against our U23’s as did speedy left winger Ahearne Grant and midfielder Reeco Fairchild. Far too good for our U23’s and at the moment a bit raw for the PL but 20 yr old Aribo is worth keeping an eye on.

    Careful Colin, If we did that there are many would call HJ a cheapskate & only fishing for sardines
  • StephenR
    I have no doubts that the bottom line as far as our DoF is concerned is that he is unwilling to pay the going rate for s’body like Aribo from Lge. 1.

    He might not be ready to go straight into our 1st team but I have no doubts a guy like Aribo will rise to the challenge. Having an up and coming prospect who is coping easily with Lge 1 football will bring a sense of balance to the playing squad, rather than signing players for the U23’s who have yet to sample first team football. 
  • I agree that scouting good lower league talent is the tactic/gamble we MUST adopt in order to try and stay competative. Clearly we can't stand toe-to-toe with our Premier League (or Championship) transfer rivals therefore need to think outside the box.

    Super Swans.
  • Wasn't Jamie Vardy playing non-league football not so very long ago.How much would he cost now ? In fact I'm sure we had a chance to take him before he went to Leicester !
  • Any fan should be able to recommend a player to the scouting department
    That way you have at least 20,000 scouts and a lot of new ideas
    Why not?
    I see where you are going, but one reason why not would be the need to reply to all those suggestions. So many would be dud or dodgy suggestions, but you'd have to take a certain percentage of the scouting staff time to chase them up and make a decision. When they could (as scouting professionals) be spending that time scouting players.

    Assuming that we have a high quality scouting team of course.

  • Gardo
    HJ has previously stated that he had been offered Vardy and also Bolasie but the bottom line is always going to be the same, he woont pay the going rate
  • edited January 2018
    Yet he could have had Mawson for a 1/4 of what we bought him for if we'd picked him up from Brentford 
  • Surely the "going rate" wouldn't have been that excessive at that time for those two lower league/non-league players Colin
    Jackattack
  • Gardo

    It seems to be a point of principle with HJ. Wherever you are shopping, never ever pay the asking price, even if meeting it is financially fairly insignificant. As above for Vardy and Bolasie, but think about Joe Allen in summer 2016. It's his MO and sometimes we benefit, but a lot of the time recently we seem to lose out.
  • Gardo
    HJ is a serial offender when it comes to not paying the ‘going’ rate for any player. Sell high, buy low can be attributed to HJ and no doubt certain posters will remind me how ‘succesful’ he has been. If only they knew the ones that got away!

    One classic example of HJ’s modus operandi from the early days when he refused to pay £60k for Rushden & Diamonds  midfielder Burgess, offering just £30k. At the time Burgess was a highly rated player. 

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rushden_and_diamonds/4637475.stm
  • The problem my friends is when you have someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. Once you establish that there is value haggling over the price becomes less important. 
    Having a scout that can identify a Mawson is the first part - but if you dig up a diamond it doesn't matter a huge amount whether you pay 300k or 500k. 
    Our issue is we don't have football people identifying the raw materials in the same way when we were mining for a Rangel, Michu, Bodde  or Chico. Lack of confidence leads to procrastination and haggling tactics that lose deals.
  • So should we bin the U23 and look to buy two or three promising young lower league players? Unlikely since we have spent a fortune going down the academy route. Really our own should be coming through from theU18, U21 and U23, if not what is the point?
  • MarkG said:
    So should we bin the U23 and look to buy two or three promising young lower league players? Unlikely since we have spent a fortune going down the academy route. Really our own should be coming through from theU18, U21 and U23, if not what is the point?
    MarkG
    from what I have seen there has been a quite significant improvement in the quality of kids entering the academy as well as coming through the age groups, but the bottom line in kids progressing is that it can easily take 12 months for some to not progress or be not good enough. A kid can be a part of the Wales U15 team one year but by the time he is a professional at 18 he is not good enough.
    A lot of talent has been ‘bought’ into the U23 squad and yes, they have been successful, but to date, of the home grown kids just Connor Roberts has made the breakthrough.
    The bottom line is, how long do you persevere with financing a system that is not producing talent.
    Identifying school kids is quite encouraging as the club spreads its wings in opening more development centers, but do we question the quality of coaching within the academy, irrespective they hold the relative badges, or do we question the pathway of the academy from school kids thro to professional contracts.

  • Jackareme said:
    The problem my friends is when you have someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. Once you establish that there is value haggling over the price becomes less important. 
    Having a scout that can identify a Mawson is the first part - but if you dig up a diamond it doesn't matter a huge amount whether you pay 300k or 500k. 
    Our issue is we don't have football people identifying the raw materials in the same way when we were mining for a Rangel, Michu, Bodde  or Chico. Lack of confidence leads to procrastination and haggling tactics that lose deals.
    Spot on. Could not have put it better myself.

    Regarding other comments about our academy. Do we think that our catchment area gives us an even chance to find talent compared with academies in e.g. London or Manchester? Or perhaps a fairer comparison would be Southampton? I.e. do we think that youngsters in SW Wales are, on average, as good as any other area? Do we have the raw materials (as well as the facilities, techniques, coaching staff etc.)?
  • PU

    There are tight restrictions with academies recruiting talent and traveling time to clubs from a kid’s home, but when top clubs have endless financial budgets there are always ways to get round those restrictions. 
    Transferring kids via helicopter has been one way to get over a restriction while relocating a kid’s family to Manchester, even though the kid’s parent had a high profile occupation, failed to stop that Manchester club from praising away a top Swans youth prospect a few years back.

    Money is always going to be the bottom line and for a club like the Swans they will never compete with the top clubs, but what I firmly believe is if you can’t compete financially there should be other ways to ensure you give the best possible coaching to kids thro all the age groups. Those pathways I feel the club can improve greatly.

    There is a certain amount of cronyism within the football club as well as inside the academy and to eliminate that will be an enormous ask. 

    Talent in South Wales is always going to be there and in recent years Swans have taken advantage of the decline in Cardiff’s academy by signing a number of promising kids from the Cardiff area that are currently in our U18’s squad.

    Facilities at Landore are highly rated but whether the quality of coaching staff is up to speed is open to question.

    What needs to be remembered however is that an academy is unlikely to produce quality PL footballers overnight but we are now in our 7th season in the PL and around 3 years as as an academy, and only recently Roberts has made the transition from academy to PL.

    Too early to make judgement, only the people who decide the budget will say differently.
  • edited January 2018
    The talent is there. I have no doubt about that and our under age teams are doing well. But as Colin says, it's not first team football. What we really need is a season where we begin and stay in mid table safety giving us the opportunity to play the youngsters. Instead we have been in relegation battles for the last few seasons and have been reluctant to blood youngsters, understandably in these do or die games. 

    The academy is there and paid for, we should concentrate on blooding our own players I believe, give them loan time and make it work. Going around signing  young lower league players will be a kick in the teeth for our academy boys.  

    I just hope the coaches are good enough, our manager whoever that might be, gives chances and the fans show patience. 

    Jackareme
  • All good points. I don't know enough to pass opinion on the level of talent in the area, but it is good that there is confidence about it.
  • I’ve been talking to a few scouts recently. Although there are more kids playing now the quality isn’t there. The academy is more or less a shut shop. Everyone kid they rate they have got. Another thing is their scouting network is far greater than say even 10 years ago.so it worries me a little.And you’re rite Colin we have to make sure the coaching system is in place. I personally think we could do much better in that area.
  • Jackattack,
    an academy is not all about educating youngsters as they come through the age group teams but also the coaches as the academy grows, bearing in mind that we are battling against clubs that have been throwing cash at their academies for a far longer time than what we have been doing. My concerns rest solely on the decision makers at the top of the tree who set the standards that should filter down through the academy. This needs improving.

    ParrallelUniverse
    what being in the PL has done is not only set up an academy but allowed the club to also set up development centres throughout South Wales, in Bristol and in Ireland. 
    Former Wales schoolboy manager Martin Evans has been doing a fine job as Head of schoolboy recruitment in the last couple of years and evidence of that can be seen in the U18 squad this season, where they are currently 3rd after beating Aston Villa away yesterday 3-2. The previous 2 seasons has seen the U18's struggle to win games before the halfway cut off in the Merit table.
    Yesterday at Bodymoor training ground, included in the team that beat Villa, plus the 3 subs that were used were 6 sixteen year olds, 6 seventeen year olds and 2 eighteen year olds. There is no guarantee that any of the academy footballers are going to continue to develop for the first team, but is encouraging to see sixteen year olds competing at U18 level.


  • Colin, that is encouraging. Hopefully we will continue that investment should the worst happen in May.
  • Colin
    Your last reply to Jackattack is absolutely spot on. 
    There are many, many talented kids in Academy’s, but are there enough talented coaches to to get the absolute best out of them?
  • BWJ
    that is one of the concerns I have as well as other guys at the academy in lead positions 
  • Colin
    What is your opinion on Dave Adams. Do you know why he left the Swans?
    Am I right in thinking he’s currently not employed by a football league club?
  • It's frustrating that we haven't seen many players break into the first team in recent times, but we do need a sense of perspective. As Colin points out, the academy has only achieved Category One status in the last few years, and it's too early to judge it's performance, given that it could easily take nearly a decade for a youngster entering the younger age groups to start to make appearances in the professional game. What is evident, is year-on-year progress of the age grade sides as measured in league table positions - with both the U23s and 18s in the top half of the highest level leagues available to them. 

    If there are questions about the talent available to us locally, then perhaps we need to consider ways of broadening the base of the pyramid - by close co-operation with the FAW Trust, Welsh Government and local authorities to professionalise coaching from the earliest ages to as wide a range of kids, from the earliest ages. You only have to look at what has been achieved in Iceland to see what is possible - with mass participation in youth football that many may consider unthinkable here. 

    If we do go down, the number one priority should funding the academy. Southampton did so even when they went down to League One - and they've reaped the rewards of their long-term thinking. Now that the capital investment of developing the facilities in the first place has been made the net running costs are relatively small - not least because Category One academies receive a sizeable grant (I recall this being around the £1 million a year mark a couple of years ago). So, let's see an end to all this nonsense about scrapping the academy. Short-termism of the worst kind.
    MarkG
  • BWJ
    from what I was told he had a terrific offer to join Everton, only to leave a week after his appointment. He didn’t have a background professionally as a player but was a highly respected coach with the Swans and academy coaches. Roy Thomas took over temporarily before he was given the job permanently!!!

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/everton-shocked-dave-adams-quits-12824017

    A few months later he linked up with Garry Monk at Middlesbrough and I am not sure if he was made redundant when Monk was sacked.

    https://www.trainingground.guru/articles/adams-appointed-by-boro-after-shock-everton-exit


  • Anyone notice a 17 yr old centre forward come on for Soton today? Pretty much all he did was spoon a decent half chance. Watch them persevere and him grow. I can't help feeling that the best two clubs IMO at bringing talent through over the years, Soton and WHU are just that little bit braver then most in giving these boys chances and not just one chance.
  • The problem with premier league academies these days is that the bar has been raised much higher than before.
    In the past it was good enough to unearth the cream of British football talent to stuff your team with. Nowadays the talent you produce has to stand up to comparison with the best players in the whole world. Otherwise they will not get a start. Diamonds will be harder to mine - but on the plus side when you find one its value will be hugely greater than before. 
    Realistically with ben and Joe we have produced two in the last decade, and if we got another 2-3 of that quality in the next 10 years we would be doing well. Managed correctly and sold at the right time these couple of diamonds will fund the whole academy (supplemented by lesser talent that we sell to the lower divisions).
    Of course if we get relegated the purpose of the academy changes to hopefully becoming the mainstay of the team around which we can add some superior world talent.
    Main point is don't overestimate the contribution that the academy could potentially make. The bar is so high it is incredibly difficult.
  • I'm told our scouts recommended Yannick Bolasie who was at Plymouth at the time, the manager didn't fancy him, a £40k fee would have secured his services. Vardy was also recommended.
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