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Thread: Irish Youth Development Structures

  1. #41
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    He was named for the last squad but pulled out through injury.

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    Interesting hearing that our youth is on a par with Belgium. Certainly our youth teams compete well across the ages.

    A lot of good points mentioned on the thread and plenty of reasons for hope and concern.
    My gut feeling from what I've observed is that clubs like Shamrock Rovers and Bohs etc having a really good academy is the way forward. A proper pathway for young lads into clubs.

    I know a few outstanding players who went to England who became some of the best young players in the academy system over there. I could have told you that none of them would make it to the level they should have because of their attitudes before they left.

    A good friend of mine's son is a current youth international and last year, he went on trial to Liverpool a few times and they looked to sign him. He is now with a LOI club. My friend was telling me that the other youth players at Liverpool when they went over were really polite and mannerly and came over to him and his wife to say hello. A few of them England youth internationals but had been at the club since they were tiny. Really down to earth lads who really made his son feel at home. He met Klopp and said he was an absolute gent, but was really emphasising to his son the importance of study etc... My mate made the point that there's a good few big time Charlies lads in the national team with his son and they really could learn a bit from how they conduct themselves off the pitch from the lads at Liverpool and some of the other English clubs that were looking to sign his lad. They have conveyor belts of lads who would do anything to play for them, so acting the ****** is rarely tolerated like it might at our elite schoolboy clubs.

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  5. #43
    Youth Team Kiki Balboa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bungle View Post
    Interesting hearing that our youth is on a par with Belgium. Certainly our youth teams compete well across the ages.

    A lot of good points mentioned on the thread and plenty of reasons for hope and concern.
    My gut feeling from what I've observed is that clubs like Shamrock Rovers and Bohs etc having a really good academy is the way forward. A proper pathway for young lads into clubs.

    I know a few outstanding players who went to England who became some of the best young players in the academy system over there. I could have told you that none of them would make it to the level they should have because of their attitudes before they left.

    A good friend of mine's son is a current youth international and last year, he went on trial to Liverpool a few times and they looked to sign him. He is now with a LOI club. My friend was telling me that the other youth players at Liverpool when they went over were really polite and mannerly and came over to him and his wife to say hello. A few of them England youth internationals but had been at the club since they were tiny. Really down to earth lads who really made his son feel at home. He met Klopp and said he was an absolute gent, but was really emphasising to his son the importance of study etc... My mate made the point that there's a good few big time Charlies lads in the national team with his son and they really could learn a bit from how they conduct themselves off the pitch from the lads at Liverpool and some of the other English clubs that were looking to sign his lad. They have conveyor belts of lads who would do anything to play for them, so acting the ****** is rarely tolerated like it might at our elite schoolboy clubs.
    That post reminds me of this article about Sporting Lisbon and their academy https://thesefootballtimes.co/2015/0...p-academy-way/

    Back on conversation, the next biggest imporvement needed for the development for Irish football is bridge between underage and senior football in the country, through a reserve league (like the old 'A' league) or 'B' teams competing.

  6. #44
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bungle View Post
    Interesting hearing that our youth is on a par with Belgium. Certainly our youth teams compete well across the ages.
    Where are you hearing this btw?

  7. #45
    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki Balboa View Post
    That post reminds me of this article about Sporting Lisbon and their academy https://thesefootballtimes.co/2015/0...p-academy-way/

    Back on conversation, the next biggest imporvement needed for the development for Irish football is bridge between underage and senior football in the country, through a reserve league (like the old 'A' league) or 'B' teams competing.


    I think there's discussions happening around this. Certainly, within the Harps academy, Kevin McHugh (head of academy), and Tommy Canning (19's manager), have said they've been involved in discussions about it.

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    I’ve noticed more players coming through LOI clubs this year than ever before at a younger age. Some I’d heard of before like Darragh Burns and Ben McCormack at Pats (both 18), but the likes of Johnny Kenny, Ryan O’Kane (both 17) and Cian Kavanagh (18) seemed to come from nowhere. Maybe it’s because they didn’t go to England due to Brexit, so the quality of young lads at LOI clubs is higher. Maybe it’s because there hasn’t been international underage football at 19s and 17s since 2019, that their recent progression has gone unnoticed internationally but it’s been pleasantly surprising...

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  10. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki Balboa View Post
    That post reminds me of this article about Sporting Lisbon and their academy https://thesefootballtimes.co/2015/0...p-academy-way/

    Back on conversation, the next biggest imporvement needed for the development for Irish football is bridge between underage and senior football in the country, through a reserve league (like the old 'A' league) or 'B' teams competing.
    Great article that.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elatedscum View Post
    but the likes of Johnny Kenny, Ryan O’Kane (both 17) and Cian Kavanagh (18) seemed to come from nowhere. Maybe it’s because they didn’t go to England due to Brexit
    Cian Kavanagh at Waterford? He signed from Cowdenbeath, and was with Hearts' U18s before that. (OK, not England, but same thing effectively)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Where are you hearing this btw?
    Kingdom mentioned from his observations there is little difference in the skillset of our young players and theirs up to about the age of 16.

    To be honest, our youth teams compete well and generally seem to be around 8th-16th in Europe across the ages, which is a very decent quality for a country of our size. The issue is that our very best players have often been at clubs like Liverpool or United, so very hard to break through and they lose momentum at vital periods of their development. As elatedscum says there is a good pathway for some of these young lads into loi teams rather than say ending up in u18 or u23 football in England. A few years of mens football before going over to England older wiser and more hardened with possibly european experience makes sense. Moves to the continent might also be easier for a 19 or 20 year old and open up that for them.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Ok, that's rather less scientific than I'd thought!

    I think a major factor is the increasing lack of a professional environment for players around 18-22. We know fewer than ever are going to England at 16 (which is a good thing) The Irish teams in the UEFA Youth League have always held their own against decent opposition. Erling Håland even played against UCD (for 30 minutes...) and didn't score

    But the LoI is mostly part-time, which means our players can't kick on like at other clubs (such as Molde, Håland's club). It can't help their chances at all

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    Youth Team Kiki Balboa's Avatar
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    One of the things I noticed with Irish youth football is putting huge amount of pressure on kids that are far removed from senior football. It has to be detrimental to the lads, who, even if everything in their careers goes right, never get to the unrealistic standard that was set on them. I think anybody that spends a lot of time around football knows that a great youth career doesnt always translate to senior football. I remember something from Tim Vickery on why you shouldnt put to much emphasis on individual performances at the u17 world cup, and u21s was a much better indicator of where a player will be at senior level.

    The obvious example now is Troy Parrott. The chap has one senior goal at League 1, with 29 games (across different divisons). He aint the new Robbie Keane. At 19 years old, he has plenty of questions about his personal life. The calls for putting him in the senior squad, and actually putting him in, puts too much of a spotlight on a lad. It cant help him develop that people treat him destined for a champions league striker, when the current situation is so different. The mismatch between expectations and reality is just another barrier players like him have to overcome.

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  16. #52
    Seasoned Pro Kingdom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exotic Fruit Stu
    Ok, that's rather less scientific than I'd thought!
    Careful now.
    That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

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  18. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki Balboa View Post
    One of the things I noticed with Irish youth football is putting huge amount of pressure on kids that are far removed from senior football. It has to be detrimental to the lads, who, even if everything in their careers goes right, never get to the unrealistic standard that was set on them. I think anybody that spends a lot of time around football knows that a great youth career doesnt always translate to senior football.
    Fair point, and yes it is something that some of us can get quite giddy over.

    I remember something from Tim Vickery on why you shouldnt put to much emphasis on individual performances at the u17 world cup, and u21s was a much better indicator of where a player will be at senior level.
    I think I heard that interview as well - he was saying it in the context of European clubs signing young Brazilian (in reality) talent for multi-millions and they end up doing nothing. his point rings true of course, but it is on a whole different level to the irish context I would suggest. Often these brazilian kids, at the very least, are part of a capable first team squad, even they are minor Serie A teams (Botafogo, Gremio, Portuguesa etc). This was echoed by a infogram I saw in the past few days that showed the average age of the 2002 WC winning squad when they moved to Europe - with only Ronaldo moving before he was 23 (would need to clarify the exact age - may have been 24).

    The obvious example now is Troy Parrott. The chap has one senior goal at League 1, with 29 games (across different divisons). He aint the new Robbie Keane. At 19 years old, he has plenty of questions about his personal life. The calls for putting him in the senior squad, and actually putting him in, puts too much of a spotlight on a lad. It cant help him develop that people treat him destined for a champions league striker, when the current situation is so different. The mismatch between expectations and reality is just another barrier players like him have to overcome
    Fair point, but again I think you've got to marry peoples expectations from the player, with their understanding of the player. I'm not a scout and there's other people here better placed to judge our underage talent than me, but I'd be cocking an eye at anyone who has said Parrott is going to be a natural goalscorer in the Robbie Keane mould. I just don't see it to be honest. What I do see - and I can only judge him on the International underage games that I've had the opportunity to watch - is a player who is fair better technically than most others, and who has a great eye for creating chances, and spaces for others, but who can take his own opportunities also. I think he got on some decent ball vs Qatar, and was generally positive before finishing the last 20 as the sole striker where I can't remember him touching the ball actually.

    If we're looking to him to start banging in the goals for us, then expectations need to be reeled back in. In that regard, I can't claim that I said it here, but I can claim that I said it to some forum members here, that I wasn't impressed with his selection vs NZ, in the sense that he played as the out-and-out striker, which I thought was a bit reckless at the time to be honest.

    So I'd agree with you in one sense, but also I'd disagree with you :-)
    That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

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  20. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki Balboa View Post
    One of the things I noticed with Irish youth football is putting huge amount of pressure on kids that are far removed from senior football. It has to be detrimental to the lads, who, even if everything in their careers goes right, never get to the unrealistic standard that was set on them. I think anybody that spends a lot of time around football knows that a great youth career doesnt always translate to senior football. I remember something from Tim Vickery on why you shouldnt put to much emphasis on individual performances at the u17 world cup, and u21s was a much better indicator of where a player will be at senior level.

    The obvious example now is Troy Parrott. The chap has one senior goal at League 1, with 29 games (across different divisons). He aint the new Robbie Keane. At 19 years old, he has plenty of questions about his personal life. The calls for putting him in the senior squad, and actually putting him in, puts too much of a spotlight on a lad. It cant help him develop that people treat him destined for a champions league striker, when the current situation is so different. The mismatch between expectations and reality is just another barrier players like him have to overcome.
    I watch a lot of underage football and I can possibly see the excitement over Parrott. He was an exceptional 15/16/17 year old. I think your point is a very good one though - the move to men's football is a real jump and it sometimes exposes more than raw natural skill, but assets like temperament and out and out desire to live the life of a professional. You look at Nathan Collins, Dara O'Shea and Jason Knight, who I all rate very highly and I think will all have very good careers. I would have felt from what I heard about them at schoolboy level, that all three of those lads had a good chance of making it, just like I would have felt Robbie Keane and others would have made it, because they lived for the game. I would have had major concerns about stuff I was hearing about Parrott's friends but to be fair to him, in the games I've seen he seems to be really trying and it's more down to an 18 year old completely out of confidence than a lack of desire. The managers at Ipswich and Millwall seem to speak well of his hard work which is good to hear. If he can maintain that good attitude and keep away as much as he can from the bad mates, he has a good shot at being a very good player, even if he may not be the world class saviour we hoped for.

    Unfortunately, some of the very best we have sent over to England down the years have also flown close to the sun in how they live their lives off the pitch. I can tell you of a LOI second string playing one wing of Mountjoy several years ago and getting well beaten by lads who had not been living the lives of an athlete. There was some incredible players from places like the Oliver Bond that were lost to crime. A lot of them were really likeable. I suspect that happens in all countries but a more professional academy within the country may keep certain lads more focused on football than the other stuff.

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  22. #55
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    Shamrock Rovers are away to Drogs tonight. I think the last time Drogs beat Rovers was when Sean Thornton scored the winner. Remember him? All the talent in the world, but rubbish lifestyle / attitude.

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  24. #56
    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Scored this against Chelsea

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuttgart88 View Post
    Shamrock Rovers are away to Drogs tonight. I think the last time Drogs beat Rovers was when Sean Thornton scored the winner. Remember him? All the talent in the world, but rubbish lifestyle / attitude.
    Three years ago in the cup, Lyons penalty.

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