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Walsall Advertiser Column

Thursday 16th November 2017 - by Neil Ravenscroft

The break in league games, thanks to the International break, just brings me back to one of my favourite topics.

I was watching the England vs Germany game at the weekend really enjoying the incredibly promising performance of Reuben Loftus-Cheek when, during the second half, Marcus Rashford came on as a substitute. Despite the debuts for the likes of Loftus-Cheek and Pickford, the commentator, having done his list of "interesting facts" on the players, pointed out that Rashford was, in fact, still the youngest player on the pitch.

Marcus Rashford was, of course, very lucky to get his chance at Manchester United, as the then manager, Louis Van Gaal, had a lot of injury problems, but Rashford certainly grabbed his chance with both hands. Now, I do wonder what damage the "hoarding" of young talent by Premier League Academies, who then never get a chance to play competitive games, is doing to their progress and that of the national team.

If they were allowed to develop at lower league clubs (as Deli Alli was), they would be coming into the senior set up with far, far more experience under their belts, to their immense benefit.

It's time we went back to the "old" way of doing things.

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Please Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual who wrote it and may not be the same as those expressed by any other Trust Member including those serving on the Trust Board.

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