Today (30th Aug) we have signed another 2 players for our Development Squad which makes our total Development Squad up to 12 members (however the ones with ? have featured for the first team, even if they just sat on the bench). Our current Dev Squad includes: (Please let me know if I've missed anyone)
GK - Blunkell
Def - Wakely?, Kaninda, Makoli
Mid - Parsons, Leathers, Pattenden, Ward, Young?
Att - De Barr, Mellor?, Al-Hamadi?
I fully support the Dev squad and I like the fact that the club does look to give those that opportunity to shine and get the coaching to learn and develop.
Is it now worth the club entering this team into a recognised U23's league? In this league you can still play 1st team players (up to 4 I believe) and it'll give these players the opportunity to play against higher quality players rather than the odd behind-closed doors friendlies that mean very little?
I wouldn't put them into a U23s league personally. I think they'd be better placed on loan at Vanarama National or Vanarama South sides. Very pleased to see the two new lads today are defenders. We have increased our investment in the side (more players signed up) so it's clear that all involved think the Dev Squad has been highly beneficial.
I thought Young was a main squad signing though I have nothing to back that up.
Regardless, as long as we remain in the pizza cup then these guys will be getting games - I think you have to play 4 “first teamers”, but in between the remaining starting berths and sub spots (and not forgetting main squad fringe players who deserve a start, e.g. Nick Freeman) there should be ample scope for the dev squad players to get a run-out.
I’m assuming a good few will go out on loan later in the season though.
@PBo Young was - signed a 3-year deal after initially joining on loan. Is he injured at the moment?
@frequentstander I see your point and I'm glad that the club have fully embraced this approach to their recruitment while also drip-feeding those with real potential the opportunity to learn from the 1st team squad by the odd appearance on the bench. I just wondering if regular football against equal or higher skilled opposition might give these player the opportunity to make that next step up and for the minutes that they play to mean something.
Last season, we loaned out Ram & Burley to Hungerford, Wakely to Maidenhead, De Barr to Eastleigh and AAH to Bromley and all of them had a mixture of different results. Maybe we also need to make more of an effort of giving these players longer loans out to lower league clubs or if they are staying, give them regular football here?
The development squad is already a major success story.
Anis and Chris Forino are both super players and there is more to come with the likes of Pattenden etc.
Amazing pipeline to the first team already.
I wouldn't enter them in an U23 league, but it would be great for them to have a couple of games a month.
The Dev squad! For a minute there I mistakenly thought our South West correspondent had sponsored the B team.
I expect Gaz has been asked to go as far as possible in the PapaJohns and the FAC as we don't seem to have done much that would line our coffers recently. That would reduce opportunities for the Dev Squad. Always a difficult balance for aspiring clubs like us on smallish budgets. Got to hope Anis eventually goes for a couple of Mill!
Luca Woodhouse and Arnold Matshazi have also been signed up for the development squad.
Went off limping last Wednesday evening. Was at the game on Saturday but didn't see any crutches or boot. He didn't storm off either
And Matshazi came on as a sub against Bristol City last week.
To enter them in a league you'd need quite a few more players and they'd need to work tactically away from the first team so probably more staff and travel and other operational expenses. I think they're probably best of as they are with flexibility to play behind closed door friendlies alongside fringe or returning players and have loans or training as required. Decent chance for them to impress if they are seen close up.
Thanks @Cyclops & @micra, I knew there was some more but I couldn't remember their names or position and their profile hasn't been written on the club's website
The Pre-Match Drills interview with Sam Grace is well worth a watch if you have a Wanderers TV sub, he comes across as an articulate guy with clear plans for the squad (personally I’d never seen him interviewed as this is my first season signed up to WTV).
He said that now we have quite a few more bodies in the door for the dev squad, it should be easier to organise more regular friendlies etc - which will obviously stand the younger players in good stead with more actual game time & chances to impress - positive signs.
Thanks for the update @PBo
It was a very impressive interview by Sam Grace, and a very impressive show in general. It must have been a hard day for @bluntphil and everyone else in the media team and they’ve done a truly great job in putting across both the immense sadness of the day, and a celebration of Bill’s life and passion for Wycombe.
agreed - to use old skool Gasroom vernacular, “hats off”.