Friday, 11 September 2009

Is the Leeds United Academy in decline?

Posted by Chris:

Former Leeds United defender, Peter Swan, has told the Yorkshire Post that the reason young players are being poached by other clubs is because the standard of coaching has declined at the Leeds Academy.

This seems hard to believe when you look at the likes of Fabian Delph, Ben Parker, Jonathan Howson and Aidan White but Leeds have declined to comment and this sets alarm bells ringing.

The most damning allegation concerns Swan's son George (14), who was recently lured away by Manchester City, along with another promising youngster, Louis Hutton, also 14.

"Already, he is benefiting as the medical team have discovered he has one leg longer than the other, which is quite common, so he now wears specially adapted boots.

"City believe this could have been the reason for the niggling injuries he has suffered. He was at Leeds for five years and yet no one ever spotted this."
If this is true it really is shocking news. United have a proud record for producing top quality young players going right back to the late 1940's and this is the first time in my recollection that the quality of the Academy and its coaches has been questioned in this way.

Leeds United need to answer the points made by Peter Swan, declining to comment is not an option. Ken Bates and others have been quick to attack clubs for poaching players and they have led us to believe that it was all about money. He may be right but these are serious allegations which need answering.

1 comment:

Julian H said...

It's really quite simple - Leeds United are roughly the 50th best team in the country.

To paraphrase Le Boss, if your son/daughter was a talented pianist, would you want them to be at the 50th best academy, or at one of the top 10?

Teenage footballers naturally prefer to be at successful clubs where they have a good chance of playing. Leeds offers the latter, but while the team's still in the third division, of course young players will prefer to move to higher-ranked clubs.