Date: 28th March 2019 at 6:00am
Written by:

West Bromwich Albion Supporters’ Club Chairman John Homer has recently held an interview with local press, where he urged the club to appoint a new head coach that will more heavily invest in our future by giving good game time to our homegrown youngsters.

The interview was with the E&S and it made a lot of sense for both those fans who have wanted a more youthful element over the last few years, and I suspect also those who are more reticent to throw youngsters in to the deep end – but equally would’ve expected game time to be slightly better spread around this season.

With money at the Albion tight, as ever and ably demonstrated by our transfer business over the summer, Homer praised former head coach Darren Moore for uniting the club during difficult times and for leading us into the Play-Off spots this year, and he admitted that current caretaker gaffer James Shan should certainly be a candidate come the summer if he takes us back to the Premier League and completes that job, but his common thread was, whoever we now appoint, has to have one eye on the future and a better integration of our own talent.

“I’m pleased with the start Jimmy Shan has had and the response from the players. To get two good wins and two clean sheets is impressive. I’m pleased that he’s continuing with the youth, the selection of Kyle Edwards at Brentford paid off. I fear that whoever takes over the reins wouldn’t have the same thoughts about youth that Darren and Jimmy had. It’s imperative we continue along those lines – if we don’t get up, some of those boys will have to step up the plate. Whoever we appoint, the point must be made that they’ve got to encourage the younger players to step up to the plate. Moore gave these young lads encouragement. To a man they haven’t let us down. Couple that with the progress in the FA Youth Cup, it shows how well the academy has done.”

We’ve lost talent before because their eyes were partly turned by money and partly turned by a presumed lack of a pathway through to the first team and young lads are always inconsistent as they develop, but bottom line is for a club like West Brom the next generation are either squad players battling for a regular first team spot or of significant profit value, especially given Financial Fair Play regulations.

It’s about time we more realised that. Plenty of fans reacting on social media certainly did, but it sadly reopened Darren Moore debates with tempers still high and the use of our Academy graduates this season.

You can read those comments from clicking on this Tweet though.