12th – The Rams Academy
In the first of a couple of guest posts that are forthcoming, today my brother (AKA SSpaceram) joins the long queue of people waiting to enthuse about the success of the DCFC Academy and pays homage to the amazing work done by Darren Wassall.
Oh wait a minute……
“The Rams Academy has been lauded in recent years with Mel Morris recently saying that he’d like to see half the Rams team made up of academy graduates within a few years. Whilst the facility itself is stunning and is now the envy of most clubs in English football, I’m going to act devil’s advocate here and say “is the production line really that good?”. What’s the evidence?
Well, Mel Morris would like to see graduates in the first team but lets look at the feeder team, the under 21s: Jon Mitchell – signed from Newcastle; Kelle Roos – signed from Nuneaton; Tom Koblenz – signed from Hoffenheim; Bunjaku – signed from Seville, Charles Vernham – signed from Scunthorpe; Ivan Calero – Athlectico Madrid; Shaquille McDonald – ex York and Peterborough; Timi Elsnik – Slovenia; Ssewankambo – Chelsea via Holland; Alfe Santos – Bristol Rovers; Devlin Mackay – Kilmarnock. There may be more along with the kid we’re trying to sign from Cheltenham. Even Zanzala came via Congo and Austria.
What’s happening to all the kids being scouted at 6 years old and upwards? (and anyone vaguely connected with kids football will know how crazy that can be).
On the other hand we do have Max Lowe, Callum Guy, Mason Bennet, Kwame Thomas, Jamie Hanson and Farrend Rawson (plus several younger players). Is there another Hendrick or Hughes in there somewhere; or more nearly men such as Callum Ball or Mark O’Brien (admittedly very unlucky).
In my view, the overall perception is massively distorted by the ‘once in a generation’ Will Hughes and Jeff Hendrick, who was signed from Ireland rather than coming through the system (does that matter?)
So draw your own conclusions – only time time will tell but I’d say don’t believe the hype just yet.”