A blow or boost for youth development?
Has the youth of Pompey suffered another blow, or will this now take a step in the right direction again?
The biggest blow that the youth set-up of Pompey could have taken came a few years back when Paul Hart was promoted into the role of 'caretaker manager', eventually permanent manager as that meant his input into the development of the future of Pompey was lost.
A 1st team manager role is not one for Harty, and sadly from the second he stepped up we had lost him in the youth area for good...
In the summer of 2009 came the appointment of Paul Smalley.
This was 'meant' to herald a new era for Pompey as his background of working with, and helping the development, of youngsters was 'said' to be good.
Fast forward to the present day and The News yesterday reported 'Paul Smalley has left Pompey with immediate effect.
'The head of youth operations yesterday came to a mutual agreement with the Blues to depart the role he has occupied since July 2009.'
I have to say that I have had serious concerns about the future of player development at Fratton for a while now, and I fear that we are starting to take a path, and to be fair have been on this for a while now, that is heading us towards 'virtually' bringing an end to this area for the club?
The importance of having a youth set-up with Pompey cannot be stressed enough, it IS vital that we do this as our future may very well hinge on us doing this!
The production of our own 'produce', if you will, can save plenty of money not to mention earn us some as well - of course we do not want to be a 'selling club' but realistically if we can develop a young talent and then sell him for several million needs must, right?
This can then be put back into further development and the running of the club. In theory anyway!
It is said that we 'will now seek to recruit a replacement'.
We just have to hope that we do just that and when we do we bring in someone that can help get our youth development back on track.
Also we have to hope that this is an area that the club want to do want to work with again and it was simple not working out with Smalley and nothing to do with a lack of interest in this area anymore, so his departure will be beneficial. The club has been losing its way in this area - and virtually every area - in recent times after putting so much time, effort and money into building this up.
Please Pompey do not let the youth development of this club die off, if we do this then the consequences for this club could also be terminal...
PLAY UP POMPEY!