Man City boss Roberto Mancini and former Academy chief Jim Cassell strss importance of youth - Manchester City FC

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Season 2009/10

Cassell and Mancini stress importance of youth development

  • 06 April 2010 13:56
  • Posted by Chris Bailey and Sam Cooke

Youth will always be given its fling at Manchester City.

That is the message assailing Academy prospects’ ears in stereo from current boss Roberto Mancini and ex-Platt Lane supremo Jim Cassell.

The former had this to say recently about the promotion of teenagers Abdi Ibrahim, Greg Cunningham, Alex Nimely, and Dedryck Boyata under his stewardship:

I am a manager who puts a lot of faith in bringing players through the Academy system and who has been pleased to give several City players their chance to play in the first team

...boss Roberto Mancini

‘They train often with us at Carrington so they are used to being around the senior players and it is not so much of a shock if I call them into the team. We have several talented young players trying to break through.”

The latter, meanwhile, is currently in Abu Dhabi spreading the Blues’ method and word amongst some of the most promising young footballers in the United Arab Emirates.

And enshrined in the message that he is determined to pass on is that youth development – in spite of all the money pumped into playing staff at senior level in the past 18 months - remains as strong a priority as it ever has been.

 “You would expect me to be biased towards young people but I genuinely believe the younger generation hold the key to the future of our football club,” declared the man whose team produced thirty first team graduates in ten years.

I think if you can create belief you can make anything happen

...former Academy chief Jim Cassell

Cassell’s new role allows him cast his eyes further afield and lend some of his vast experience to pastures new starting with Abu Dhabi, home of the Blues owner and chairman.

“If one of the things we can get involved in now is helping to develop football over here in Abu Dhabi I can see absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t offer our experience at academy level with a new generation of players that are just desperate to play and learn the game,” he declared.

 “I think one of the important things is not to get carried away and not to start thinking we have done it all before and got the t-shirt.

“There are always new challenges when working with young footballers and always surprises around the corner. That’s the exciting thing”.

Under Jim’s management Manchester City’s Academy became one of the most highly respected and prolific football youth set-ups anywhere in the world.

Nimely’s debut for the first team on Saturday against Burnley made it thirty one players in total that have come through the academy to play for the first team. Shaun Wright-Phillips back in 1999 was the first

“I like to think that I have left a great legacy of youth development at Platt Lane that can hopefully be built on even further in the future,” he went on.

“If we can take this Academy on to the next level and to parts of the world it has never been before it surely can’t help but be a wonderful thing for this football club.

“It’s a really exciting time for the young people that we already have here and of course it’s a great place to come for all those that we hope to bring in the future.”

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