We have a thing in the last few years for picking up older players who have experience of league football for what I assume, filling out the u23s to achieve a better league position. During this time no-one looks capable of playing first team football or being successful out on loan. I'm certain that u18's progression into the u23s is being delayed due to signings such as,
Mitch Clark who signed this summer as a 20 year old after a full season in league two, thrown into our u23's which will almost certainly shunt his progression and any upcoming player in the u18s in his position. Will he ever play for the club? The below examples suggest a big fat no.
Sam Hughes signed a few years ago as a 20 year old after a full season in the conference. Has he made any profession in two years? Of course not, he could have been playing at league two/one level if he'd joined someone else in 2017.
George Thomas signed a few years ago as a 20 year old after a full season in League one where he scored 9 goals. Has he made any profession in two years? Of course not, he could have been playing at Championship level if he'd joined someone else in 2017. Instead, in his last loan back in League one, he struggled to get a game for a Scunthorpe who ended up relegated.
George Hirst another 20 year old... did nothing in 2nd division in Belgium and hasn't even appeared for us since signing. He'd be better off at a league one/two club and continue his career, instead he's here to compete with Reghba, Uche, Eppiah, Muskwe for a place in our u23s, and certainly will shunt his progression and any upcoming player in the u18s in his position such as Will Russ, Pennant, Arlott-John. These need to be experiencing football other than u18s soon if they're going to have a good career.
Then you've got players who were in our u18s and did make the progression a few years ago, before this started happening. The likes of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, Darnell Johnson, Ndukwu are they progressing? They've been stuck in the u23s for years, barely any have been sent out on loan and just seem to be wasting their career, at 21 are they still going to be here without a first team appearance like Callum Elder was at 24?