Hasn’t the FA missed a trick by ignoring his expertise:


The scheme is hoped to be fully functional by 2014 and that could create a whole new era of English football, making the nation more competitive and producing more, talented players.

However, could the FA have gone a different way of putting together this plan? You would have thought that the big wigs would have hired the help of the people who know more about academy football in this country than anyone else, namely, Tony Carr.

The head of Youth Development at West Ham United is famous for consistently bringing through young stars over his 38 years of coaching at Upton Park. There is no man in English football with a better history or experience than Carr, so should he not have lead any plan into reforming youth football.

Carr had seven players in the England World Cup squad last summer that have come through his youth system including John Terry, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, showing what a dominance he could have over the English game and surely his expertise could have been used this summer.

With the likes of Jermaine Defoe, Michael Carrick and Glen Johnson struggling for first team football at their respective clubs, Carr’s players may be victim of being edged out by foreign players that will infuriate the East End born coach and you would like to think he had some answers to questions posed by the FA during the reform.

While cleaning the boots of Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst as a youngster, Carr said he dreamt of becoming a professional footballer but was declared not good enough by West Ham and he turned his attention to coaching, which he has been doing ever since. Football fans, managers and players alike, all around the country will sit up and listen when a coach of Carr’s experience has ideas so why didn’t the suits at the FA?

With clubs such as Southampton, Leeds United, Everton and Middlesbrough having fantastic youth systems that were equally not involved in the new reform, surely firsthand experience will be more relevant than numbers on a page for the future of English football.

Written by Brad Pinard for

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