Often Partisan

Packwood Showing Promise

It’s been a good season for the Blues Academy; former scholars Jordon Mutch and Nathan Redmond have both had plenty of match action and there have been a smattering of debut appearances for various other graduates such as Callum Reilly, Eddie Gnahoré and Akwasi Asante. One player who has made a matchday 18 but hasn’t yet appeared on the pitch is American teenager Will Packwood.

Image courtesy bcfc.com

Whilst originally a defensive midfielder, Will has found himself increasingly employed as a centre back for the Academy and reserve teams. On the occasions I’ve seen him play, it’s been easy to spot he’s been a midfielder; his distribution is excellent and he isn’t the “lump it” type that typifies an old-school English centre back. I can see why the Academy have moved him backwards into defence though; at six-foot three and built like an outhouse he’s got the physical attributes to be a proper centre-half and I think his technical capabilities will make him the more cultured stopper that has become fashionable of late than the old-fashioned bruiser.

In a recent interview for “Yanks Abroad“, Packwood said that this was a “transformative year”. Whilst he naturally wants to break into the Blues first team, I think Will is sensible enough to realise that a loan at a lower league club will help his footballing education along and whilst he’s not left Wast Hills this season I suspect it won’t be long before he’s out on a temporary deal to give him the first team football he needs, but as Packwood states himself in the interview it has to be a deal that’s right for his footballing education.

Packwood has also been called up for the USA u20 training camp being held in Portland Oregon as Tab Ramos looks to prepare the side for next year’s qualifying for the u20 World Cup in Turkey. Packwood will fly out to America next week and may be involved in the two games set up for the squad against the University of Portland and one as yet unconfirmed side. This is a big step for Will; in common with most Western Hemisphere countries, the United States doesn’t run a u21 team and barring the Olympic u23 side this is the highest age-restricted group under the full national team.

Will was involved with the USA u20 age group that failed to qualify for the u20 World Cup in Mexico last year, but wasn’t picked for the qualifying tournament. However, there is this video of him here where he talks about life in England, Blues and trying to impress the coaches in America.

With Packwood signing a two-year pro deal at the start of the season, and getting a squad number (29) for the FA Cup game against Chelsea, he’s well on the way to making it for Blues. He’s a player to watch for next season as hopefully we’ll see more of the younger players break fully into the first team setup.


8 Responses to “Packwood Showing Promise”

  • roskoe says:

    Thanks Almajir, I look forward to seeing more of this promising prospect. Do you feel that in 5 years time Blues may have a first 11 made up primarily of acadamy players, and do you think they could be competitive in the top two tiers of the English game? I know it may be hard for us to hold on to NR and JM until then, but with a bit of luck, and if we can get up and stay up then why not?


    • almajir says:

      I think it’ll be tough; there is ever more competition for academy players and I don’t think the new EPPP rules will help Blues either.

      • roskoe says:

        That would be a shame, I would really like to see our academy players make it as a pro for us, and to not see them perform at their best for other teams. My fingers are crossed though. What are your predictions for the Easter weekend? I have a funny feeling we will draw against Palace and get a good away win at West Ham, to really put a blue cat amongst the promotion pigeons….

  • NevBCFC says:

    Great little piece OP, it’s encouraging to see we actually have a pretty decent crop of youngsters at the club now, rather than the odd one or two.
    Keep up the good work mate.

  • Newbold says:

    Followed your input for a few months, and feel compelled to say, thanks for all your hard work.
    Your a daily source of impartial/balanced info, keep it up mate.

  • andy says:

    Great info again. Blues seem to be producing their best youngsters in sometime and looks to be the clubs future and not saleable assets.

  • Rich says:

    I know one of the youth coaches at Blues (who happens to be a Viila fan), how has stated that the youth set up at Blues is very good; along with the Baggies, probably the best in the midlands region as Villa appear to have abandened their scheme that had served them quire well. A lot of money and effort has been spent building it up and that would should see us bear fruit in the future.

  • Mark Peacock says:

    He looks a good player when I have ever seen him. Couple of cup games next year and a loan to someone like Wlasall may do him the world off good!

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