Often Partisan

Academy Update

It’s been a fruitful week and a half for the Blues Academy, with three wins recorded in the last few days over opposition in Slovenia and England.

Blues took 28 players to Slovenia and the official website reports that the two matches played between the u18 and u21 Blues and Maribor Academy teams both resulted in wins for the young Blues. The under-18s won thanks to goals from Demarai Gray and Viv Solomon whilst the u21s were triumphant by a 3-1 margin with goals via trialist Liam Gorman and a brace from Josh Hawker.

Josh Hawker made his first appearance in a First XI friendly on Tuesday night, coming on after 75 minutes for Nathan Redmond and the youngster who is son of former Blues player Phil Hawker acquitted himself fairly well.

Five players who travelled to Shrewsbury were involved against Leamington FC as Blues ran out 2-1 winners having gone a goal down. Jake Jervis, who was an unused sub at the Greenhous Meadow struck either side of half-time to hand victory to a young Blues XI that also included Nick Townsend, Brice Ntambwe, Akwasi Asante and Josh Hawker.

With manager Lee Clark watching on from the sidelines this was another good chance for the young guns to impress and I’m sure Jake Jervis will be pleased to be able to show what he can do having lost out from going to Austria through injury. Blues reserves next game in front of spectators will be against AFC Telford on August 7 and I hope to be there to report for OP.

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17 Responses to “Academy Update”

  • viperblue says:

    good news about youngsters,the future looks bright,the future is blue!!
    Thanks for keeping us informed about the less publicised areas of Blues life.
    You are doing a great job

  • Bluebird says:

    Al – On one of your previous Reports I raised the question about Terry Westley –
    I am told when he arrived at St Andrews he asked the Scouts to “Go find me footballers” and it would appear that they did….
    We haven’t had a crop of youngsters like this since the 60’s or have they just been thrust into the spotlight on a ‘needs must’ basis?
    It begs the questions:
    Why did he leave? Where is he now? Is he available to return and continue the obvious great work that he was doing?
    One of your posters responded previously about shenanigans surrounding our previous owners and Nathan Redmond which is of course rumour until confirmed in some way –
    There certainly must have been some serious rift for Terry to walk away and for Blues to let him go!

    • Euston 9.18 says:


      Have tried “Wikipedia” ??

      If you go on there & scroll down to “reference’s” there’s an Evening Mail article from 2011,about Terry Westley departure from Blues.
      The comments from BLUES fans at the bottom of the story,about McJudas,just shows how things change quickly in football.


    • KeeprightCroydON says:

      I recollect at the time that the board asked him to devise a strategy for youth development. If my memory serves me right he was also working in some capacity with the FA on their youth development policy. However he was dismissed shortly after he presented his report to the board. There was no reason given, just an announcement on the club website that they were parting company and they thanked him for his past work at the club. I expect he had to sign a confidentiality clause, so we’ll never know the reason why they got rid of him. I for one could not see the logic as the academy was just beginning to turn out some decent kids and surely credit must go to Westley for this. Oddly McLeish did not seem too bothered at the time, and tellingly did not try to sign him up for the club across the city. Read what you will into that.

      With regard to the pre-Hughton era, I have a feeling Bruce and McLeish let a few promising youngsters slip through the new with their reluctance to blood them into the 1st team, even in pre-season friendlies. Even Darren Carter was not given too much of a chance once we got into the Prem. In fact even in the Championship DC did think long and hard about signing a full professional contract because Bruce was too cautious about bringing him in. If he wasn’t a bluenose I suspect he might not have stayed around then. The difference with CH and LC is that they are prepared to take a punt with youngsters. The lack of transfer funds and the fact that we;re in the Championship obviously is a factor, but I think we should commend CH and LC for looking to bring on the youngsters.

      • Oldbluenose says:

        Your comments regarding C,H. and now L,C. make heartwarming reading for us Bluenoses, At last, someone is prepared to give them a crack, [ if only in pre-season friendlies, for now ].

        Someone said if they come good, We can get big transfer fees down the line,?. I would prefer them to form the backbone for a good few seasons to come, !!.

      • Colin Townsend says:

        Great post I think you have it spot on , terry westley had about five or six promising youngsters in each year group , theses players were pushed into an older age group , for them to be stretched and given more of a test ,development is the word that is used a lot at blues academy , but it takes a stronge first team manager who can take a punt on a young kid , for the development to work

        • KeeprightCroydON says:

          Well said Colin. You undoubtedly know more that most of us on the youth side because of your lad. It was great that he had a chance to rub shoulders with the big boys at Shrewsbury.

  • TonyB says:

    Don’t know how true it is but I heard Terry Westley drew up a very ambitious and expensive plan for further developing the youth players. It wasn’t accepted and that soured the relationship – don’t know if the result was him jumping or being pushed.

  • Agent Mcleish says:

    Terry said that he’d had enough of the crap but he must really love it as he is now working as a Drain Layer in New Zealand

  • Steve G says:

    Has Callum Reilly been involved?

  • Oldbluenose says:

    It was good to read the article in the B!ham Mail, That Lee Clark was/is impressed with the youngsters that have been introduced so far, !!.

  • Texas Pete says:

    It looks like my wish is coming true and the the youth are being given attention. The investment in them will pay off when they graduate into the first team. Then they can be OUR stars and perhaps one or two will move on for a massive fee after helping us succeed.

  • Paulo says:

    Good article about the academy! They are just as important and deserve the recognition that they deserve ..without the kids (and their parents providing the taxi service) we dont have much chance to show other youngsters what they could achieve.
    ..and fair play to LC for paying close attention (as well as the few managers gone by who brought a few up through the ranks).
    Let’s see what surprises Cheltenham will bring!

  • Dave Sherlock says:

    I remember hearing Kevin Phillips on talk sport after he left Blues last summer saying that we had no decent youngsters coming through. With Butland, Redmond, Mutch breaking in to the team in recent times and Jervis, Asante, Hancox, Coming in behind I’d say he was wide of
    The mark.

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