Ian Hart: Clubs needs to invest in promising youngsters

Albion centre-half Lewis Dunk came through the ranks at the club. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion centre-half Lewis Dunk came through the ranks at the club. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

England’s emphatic 5-2 Under-17 World Cup final victory against Spain – and that from being 2-0 down – should be celebrated the length and breadth of the country. It is a real shot in the arm for the beautiful game domestically.

These are the best players from each nation at this age group and nationally England still has a large pool of players to draw from, therefore their success should also be deemed even more significant.

At present, there’s no mass influx of big name foreign signings every year at their parent clubs but that will all soon change very quickly as they progress into senior football.

As great as the success at the weekend was, the acid test for me will be to re-visit the situation when the boys are all turning 24. How many of Saturday’s squad will have at least 50-or-so Premier League appearances?

How many will have a similar amount of appearances in the Championship?

Don’t get me wrong, the weekend’s success was superb but it will all effectively count for nothing if the senior clubs don’t invest in the boys in the future. Unfortunately all the time our top flight is dominated by foreign owners, with coaches and managers from overseas, you can’t see the situation changing.

Back in the day when TV didn’t call the shots, our top clubs were owned by local people who not only cared about their own teams but also the national side and things were very different. Maybe Saturday’s success can finally start to buck the trend, then again have we already gone too far down a particular road?

n The Albion travel to Wales at the weekend, with the visit to the Liberty Stadium almost taking on the mantle of a genuine six-pointer against Swansea City.

Despite an extremely sluggish start, 34 minutes to be precise, Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, although not quite what I predicted, was probably a point gained over the 90 minutes. However, the lack of another home win really does put the emphasis on a good showing for the Seagulls in South Wales. All the more significant as they find themselves up against former loan target Tammy Abraham.

To reiterate, both teams deserved a point in the South Coast Derby over the 90 minutes, but what we saw from the Albion in the second half makes me think we can return over the Severn Bridge on Saturday night with all three points.

n And, finally, returning to the subject of youth football, back in the autumn of 1977, a group of youngsters started playing football on a Saturday morning at Worthing Leisure Centre.

Matters progressed and in time a committee and various squads were formed under the name of Durrington Dynamos, which later evolved as Durrington was replaced by Worthing. As far as local youth footballing folklore is concerned, the rest is history. Next Friday evening, November 10, Dynamos celebrate their 40th birthday, with a party at Woodside Road. Life president Cag Spiller has extended an open invitation to all players, managers, parents and supporters, past and present.

I know first hand how much hard work and dedication goes into running such a vibrant and go-ahead organisation and Worthing is a better place for having Dynamos. Not just in the sporting context but also for the way so many youngsters have developed and progressed into adulthood.

For more details of the event, please go to www.pitchero.com/clubs/worthingdynamos

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