Football & England Club Academies

Football Agents -  Sports Article by Kevin Walters
Football Agents - Sports Article by Kevin Walters

Football agents Sports Article:

From the author and freelance Sports Journalist Kevin Walters:

England Club Academies

When you think about English football clubs academies, the successful teams that spring to mind are:

  • Manchester United (Best, Giggs, Scholes, Butt, Beckham, the Neville brothers, O’Shea, Brown,  Welbeck, Cleverly, Shawcross, Januzaj and Evans)
  • Arsenal (Adams, Merson, Keown, Bentley, Bothroyd, Fabragas, Traore, Larsson, Cole, Wilshire, Bentner and Szscesny)
  • Liverpool (Owen, Fowler, Gerrard, McManaman, Carragher, Staunton, Flanagan and Sterling)
  • Southampton (Shearer, Le Tissier, Bridge, Baird,  Blackstock, Bale, Walcott, Lallana, Shaw, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ward-Prowse and Chambers)
  • Everton (Rooney, Osman, Barkley, Anichibe, Rodwell, Dunne and Hibbert)

But when you look closer, there are actually more successful academies in England in recent times.

The West Ham Academy has produced many England internationals over the years - Bobby Moore, Trevor Brooking, Paul Ince, Michael Carrick, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson, Jermain Defoe and Glen Johnson. More recently, current first teamers Mark Noble and James Tompkins have come through the Academy as did Bournemouth winger Junior Stanislas and Rio’s brother Anton Ferdinand. If you look at players that are currently playing at a high level, the West Ham Academy has produced 11 players in that bracket.

Manchester City has always had a conveyor belt of talent over the years. To name some: Micah Richards, Shaun Wright-Philips, Bradley Wright-Philips, Dickson Etutu, Nedum Onouha, Stephen Elliott, Daniel Sturridge, Willo Flood, Glenn Whelen, Stephen Ireland, Ishmael Miller, Michael Johnson, Kasper Schmichel and John Guidetti.  Like West Ham, Manchester City has produced 11 players that are currently playing at a high level.

Leeds United may not be the force they were in the 1970’s, but their Academy is still one of the best in England. Over the years, John Charles, Terry Cooper, Peter Lorimer, Paul Reaney, Norman Hunter, Jack Charlton, Albert Johanneson, Billy Bremner, Eddie Gray, Gary Speed, John Lukic, David Batty, and Paul Madeley have all come through the youth system at Leeds. More recently, the Leeds Academy has produced the following players – some are now retired, but the majority are still playing: Paul Robinson and Scott Carson – two top goalkeepers. Ian Harte, Gary Kelly, Stephen McPhail, Harry Kewell, Alan Smith, Jonathan Woodgate, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Fabian Delph, Jonny Howson, Matt Kilgallon, Tom Lees and Danny Rose. Current first teamers Sam Byram, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowett have also progressed through the Academy, so that makes 13 players, that are currently playing at a high level, that has come through the Leeds United Academy.

Middlesbrough has always had an excellent youth set up. Dave Parnaby, the Academy Manager, has helped produce an array of talent over the last 10 years. Players that have come through the Middlesbrough system, that are currently playing at a high level include: Danny Graham, Joe Bennett, Chris Brunt, James Morrison, Jonathan Grounds, Lee Cattermole, Andrew Taylor, David Wheater, Brad Jones, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams, Adam Johnson, Tony McMahon and Stewart Downing. That is 14 players – a remarkable achievement.

Finally, the team who’s Academy has produced the most players that are currently playing at a high level is Aston Villa.

The Aston Villa Academy has seen the following player’s progress through the ranks: Gabriel Agbonlahor, Gary Cahill, Gareth Barry, Peter Whittingham, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Darius Vassell, Craig Gardner, Marc Albrighton, Steven Davis, Liam Ridgewell, Nathan Baker, Nathan Delfouneso, Shane Lowry, James Collins, Barry Bannan, Boaz Myhill, Gary Gardner, Callum Robinson, Jack Grealish, Zoltán Stieber, Andreas Weimann, Ciaran Clark and Chris Herd. Some are now retired, but remarkably, there are 21 players currently playing at a high level that have progressed through the Aston Villa Academy.

A sports article for football agents by Kevin Walters (Durham)

All opinions and any factual content are the sole responsibility of the sports writer.


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