Latics to retain youth academy
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 06 February 2013
ATHLETIC will NOT be scrapping its youth team — a move that will please the majority of supporters.
The system has produced a host of first team players in recent years.
The club says the academy has been preserved after what is described as “an extensive internal and external consultation process.” Tony Philliskirk will continue to run the side.
One fans’ poll showed that only 12-per-cent backed the idea of binning the under-18s set-up to save money.
“We have a proven track record for developing our own players,” said chief executive Neil Joy.
“Over the last month or so we have been reviewing our plans for the future of the whole club. Fans should be assured we will continue to place great emphasis on young talent.”
The youth side costs the club around £20,000 a month
But of the matchday squad at Walsall recently, four players had come through the ranks at Boundary Park - and in the past seven years players developed and later sold by Athletic brought the club over £1.4million.
“This brings to an end a period of uncertainty in respect of the future of our Academy,” said Philliskirk.
“As a club, we can now move forward with our plans and I thank the board of directors for their continued support of the club’s youth programme.”
Athletic sunk into the relegation zone in League One last night as a result of Scunthorpe’s 2-1 home win over Portsmouth; the team is two points adrift of both the Iron and Colchester.
Chairman Simon Corney said last night he might not have a new manager in place for the visit of MK Dons on Saturday and might even consider a contract to run to the end of the season.
He revealed that current Premier League players are among the many applicants for the job.
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