Imagine a world where aspiring young footballers could be taken in as pimple faced teens with a tad bit of bum fluff on their chins and nurtured into complete and successful professional footballers with their airbrushed faces on billboards in countries they have never considered frequenting while they sip cocktails in Ibiza with their significant other, who just happens to be an aspiring supermodel… Well dear friend and reader, such a world does exist in the football realm; although many in our fraternity tend to behave as if young stars pop up at random like a cannabis plant and bring euphoria after being allowed the opportunity to light the scene up. We at GSV have roped in your mate Uncle Bob and asked him to dust off his PhD in Development Football and become the Dean of our newly founded School Of Academies, where we enlighten, inform and entertain you with all the insight he has on development sides across the fraternity. In no particular or meticulous order, for that matter, we present to you The GSV Institutions List.
Manchester United Academy
Location: Carrington, Manchester
Director Of Youth Academy: Brian McClair (Leaving to become Scottish FA Performance Director in May)
Notable Graduates: Kieran Richardson, Ryan Shawcross, Jonny Evans, Danny Simpson, Fraizer Campbell, Gerard Piqué, Giuseppe Rossi, Ben Amos, Tom Cleverley, Darron Gibson, Danny Welbeck, Paul Pogba, Ravel Morrison, Michael Keane, Will Keane, Jesse Lingard
Fresh Out The Oven: Reece James, Sam Johnstone, Saidy Janko, Adnan Januzaj, Tyler Blackett, Ben Pearson, James Wilson, Andreas Pereira, Mats Møller Dæhli, Paddy McNair, Demetri Mitchell, Jack Barmby, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
Training Facilities: A
Training Methodologies: B-
Opportunities For Growth: A-
The historic Manchester United Academy predates the current establishment by many years and numerous legendary graduates; since 1930, the Manchester United Junior Athletic Club had been feeding the club and elite level football in Britain with talented young professionals. When we consider the success of the Busby Babes and Fergie’s Fledglings, one starts to comprehend the magnitude of youth developmental focus on the red half of Manchester; United have firmly established their youth development structure as one of the premier youth developmental institutions in the entire football fraternity. Regardless of the fact that we had begun to see less academy graduates establishing themselves as first team fixtures in the last few seasons, United have continued to feed many of their talents into the professional ranks every season and the appointment of Louis Van Gaal has seen a larger number of youth development players being given an opportunity to return the club to its ethos of using development products to bring success to the club. The standard of developmental scouting and coaching has improved in English football and United have had to fight off their rivals for the procurement of players they would previously have had a free run at signing, yet the change in mindset and opportunities for growth at first team level have changed that thinking and United are beginning to look like an enticing option for talented youngsters again. It is refreshing to see that one of the football fraternities foremost developmental institutions remains determined to continue improving and supplying the fraternity with the high calibre of footballers we have become accustomed to being blessed with by the giants from Manchester; the fact the a developmental centred gaffer is in charge of the team ensures that the current crop of players will have a fair crack at establishing themselves in the side and joining the illustrious list of academy graduates that graduated into first team stars.