Development group funding could reinvigorate Portsmouth’s production chain – Liam Daish
That’s the verdict of Liam Daish, who is convinced a squad under 21/23 would create the path so conspicuously missing for young prospects.
The former Professional Development Stage (PDP) head coach fears that once a player graduates from the Blues’ Academy, promising progress may come to a halt.
Instead of providing an environment where they are allowed to develop and mature over a longer period, the young are often set free.
He said The news: ‘During my five years, I always ran into the same situation, the same scenarios, like not having this bridge between the 18 and the first team.
“With the expectations of the club, the supporters, everyone around him, I understand that it might be difficult to send children at 18. That’s at any club, but maybe Pumped a little more because of desperation to get out of Ligue 1.
“So we need a pathway, a bridge between the 18 and the first team where these players can develop, where they can grow.
“Maybe they’re not ready at 18, but give them time, give them a few years, give them that next stage of development, and I think you’ll be very surprised.”
“Looking at the players here in the past, especially during my time, the ones who got released have, to be fair, all kept trying to make their way down a different path because they had to.
“The path here ends at 18 and the only alternative is to place them in non-league clubs, which is fine, I understand that – but if we could have kept this in-house and created a solid under-21 group /23, then we could have seen the fruits of it.
“Josh Flint has been promoted with Volendam and will be playing in the Dutch top flight next season. He is a great example of patience and self-confidence, giving them a year or two, helping them mature, helping them to grow.
“I always say that at 18 they have the scaffolding, but haven’t done the cinder block. Then at 20-21 it starts to come in and the player looks a bit more fit for league football.
“What’s going on, and I know it first hand, you can get lost a bit as a player, you can think ‘What am I doing? “. And it’s hard.
“It’s important that we don’t think you’re the ready-made product at 18. You’re not.” There aren’t many 18-year-olds like that, it’s very rare.
“We have players in a very good place, some have come into the EFL trophy and they have held on and done well, but there is no path, there is no next challenge.
“If you do well in 18 years, there must be the next challenge.”
Indeed, during Daish’s five years at Fratton Park, he is adamant that the matter was not discussed with him.
He added: “Having an Under-23 squad is a financial commitment, I don’t dispute that, of course it’s financial, but other clubs seem to do it, other clubs seem to believe in it.”
“I never saw anything or had any meetings to get one. It was never really discussed in my presence, I never heard anything solid.
“Yet it is something that could have been done, that could have been seriously thought about. You want to see the progression – and that would have been a great marker.
A message from the editor, Mark Waldron
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