Reserves: Middlesbrough v Manchester United

Sideshow Bob

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United: Kovar; Laird, Mengi, Bernard, Devine; Puigmal, Traore; Mellor, Levitt, Chong (c); Ramazani.

Subs: Woolston, Helm, Mejbri, Wellens, Elanga.
 

SuperRash

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Finished 4-1 to United.

We really do have some terrific footballers in the U23’s at the moment. Puigmal, Ramazani and Levitt are all very talented guys. Then add the guys like Greenwood and Chong and we have a brilliant youth side. Also Mejbri is going to be dynamite, his passing already at such a young age is precision personified.
 

IDFD

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Finished 4-1 to United.

We really do have some terrific footballers in the U23’s at the moment. Puigmal, Ramazani and Levitt are all very talented guys. Then add the guys like Greenwood and Chong and we have a brilliant youth side. Also Mejbri is going to be dynamite, his passing already at such a young age is precision personified.
I don’t watch much of the youth teams but those of you that do seem to give us reason to be excited by the future!
 

boothstownred

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Mejbri has made an immediate impact. He has a bit of a nasty streak in him too.i hope Levitt continues to develop because he is exactly the sort of player we are missing in midfield
 

jsp

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Problem is these lads are playing div 2 of U23 football in terms of actual standard it's probably comparable to conference football it's miles from the top level as even in div 1 the top U23 players aren't actually playing in it they're either already in first teams or out on loan.

It's a big problem getting these lads from this stage to the next stage and I don't think the U23 league setup is helping.

One thing that I good for them this season is playing in EFL cup they are at least playing against football league standard teams even if they often rotate players for that competition it gives them a bit of exposure to mens football.
 

boothstownred

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The u23 set up is nowhere near competitive enough. I don't worry too much about the league we are in because in truth this years u23s are generally last years u18s so the divisions aren't really that representative. However we have to get some of these lads out on loan, even if it's just for short periods.
 

jsp

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Yeah still think it would help to be in the top division as generally the better academies still have the better players.

The loan system kind of ruins the whole concept of the U23 until they cap the number of players you can have out on loan and stop clubs hoarding the talent it'll never really work. The reality is they probably need to scrap it to force clubs to either put players into first teams, loan them out or sell them.

We all know the answer is getting the U23 teams playing in the football league but that won't happen so I think clubs need to put feeder club agreements in place with local football league clubs.
 

IDFD

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You don’t really hear much about feeder clubs now days. Used to be a big thing we had a couple over here and a few in Belgium and Holland.

Antwerp Burt Preston come to mind.
 

SuperRash

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I think the worst thing we have done over the last few years was bring in Sbragia as our U23’s coach - he was dire really and our football suffered. We are recovering now and we play some wonderful football.

It’s been a big plus getting into the football league trophy or whatever it is called and we are unbeaten in that so our young lads have shown promise.

Loan deals will be good for some of these guys. I think a loan is a must for Chong, he has the ingredients to be a very good player but he plays better right now in a counter attacking team. He needs to bulk up and keep learning.

I would say the next cab off the rank to get into the first team picture would be Puigmal. Really talented lad.
 

jsp

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You don’t really hear much about feeder clubs now days. Used to be a big thing we had a couple over here and a few in Belgium and Holland.

Antwerp Burt Preston come to mind.
Think the money in youth development has put a lot of teams off it as they’d rather produce their own and sell them on rather than just play a role in that development.

Fans of these clubs become unhappy because they never really bond with the players so long term it isn’t very sustainable.

The short term loan being abolished hasn’t helped either loan deals have to be 1/2 or full season now meaning clubs can’t give players short spells at other clubs to get games and smaller clubs are reluctant to take them for long periods because of the wages. These deals used to be great for players if it worked they’d stay for longer if it didn’t they’d go back if the level was to easy they’d step up to the next league.

Just look at what happened to Borthwick-Jackson he had 2 years out on loan where the manager who got him in left almost straight away and he was stuck there for a year and his career never got back on track.
 

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