Are we approaching a Crossroads

WXF

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We mucked up when we were last in League 1 by over spending. Yes we achieved our joint highest league position but it was short termist (out of character for the club in the Trust era) and it's why we landed with such a bump and lumbered in League 2, until Matt Grimes was sold. I don't think chasing highs in League 1 was worth the long period it took to rebuild and seriously compete in League 2 again. I'll be impressed by a long stay in League 1 and, should we go down, the club being in a healthier position to when it was last relegated (and triple points in matches won against PAFC)
 

geoffwp

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I dont believe in altruism in football. It's a bit like believing in fairy godmothers. If someone was so altruistic then why wouldnt they simply give a massive wedge to the trust without wanting anything in return except maybe a season ticket.
No. I dont want anyone from the outside buying their way into the club regardless of what they say as I simply wouldnt trust their intentions. I'm happy with who we are and what our ethos is. We are league one this coming season, I shall enjoy that regardless and let the future take care of itself.
 

Spanks

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The Academy is responsible for getting us the where we are, but it's effectiveness will reduce the higher the level the first team plays. The teams we loan the youngsters to haven't changed levels, but to be first teamers here, they'll have to step up a considerable notch. In addition, as we move up, that's another higher layer of potential suitors peeled away, and all of a sudden if they aren't of a Grimes, Watkins or Ampadu standard, they're not saleable in the same sense. We'll undoubtedly need to focus on shifting players on earlier, for risk of contracts running down and losing them for nothing.

It's going to be much, much harder. But that's something we should be relishing.
 

Boyo

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We mucked up when we were last in League 1 by over spending. Yes we achieved our joint highest league position but it was short termist (out of character for the club in the Trust era) and it's why we landed with such a bump and lumbered in League 2, until Matt Grimes was sold. I don't think chasing highs in League 1 was worth the long period it took to rebuild and seriously compete in League 2 again. I'll be impressed by a long stay in League 1 and, should we go down, the club being in a healthier position to when it was last relegated (and triple points in matches won against PAFC)
I think what surprised the club the last time, was how quickly our average crowds decreased across the 3 years we were in L1. That initial year we averaged 5,832 which reduced to 5,393 the following year (the year when we missed out on the playoffs by a point). The third year (relegation) we were down to an average of 4,474, which was approx 1,400 down compared to that initial year. If budgets had been set at the end of the initial year based on crowds that year, it's easy to see how we ended up in a financial pickle.

Potentially some important lesson to learn for this time...
 

antman

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My biggest worry is that we do too well as the new boys in the division, the unfancied team, because that may well suit us. For years we have been expected to win most games and this creates a pressure among the players when things aren't going right on the pitch. The fear of losing this season is not so great, but if we are top half by Christmas I would worry about losing our best players and especially the manager. Although I do feel that the financial and general infrastructure at the club now supports that possible eventuality far better than it did on our last visit to this division. I'm not worried about going down at all, just can't see it. Too many scrappers in this team and players who know what their job is.
 

IndoMike

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The Academy is responsible for getting us the where we are, but it's effectiveness will reduce the higher the level the first team plays. The teams we loan the youngsters to haven't changed levels, but to be first teamers here, they'll have to step up a considerable notch. In addition, as we move up, that's another higher layer of potential suitors peeled away, and all of a sudden if they aren't of a Grimes, Watkins or Ampadu standard, they're not saleable in the same sense. We'll undoubtedly need to focus on shifting players on earlier, for risk of contracts running down and losing them for nothing.

It's going to be much, much harder. But that's something we should be relishing.
Good point made there.
 

grecian-near-hell

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The Academy is responsible for getting us the where we are, but it's effectiveness will reduce the higher the level the first team plays. The teams we loan the youngsters to haven't changed levels, but to be first teamers here, they'll have to step up a considerable notch. In addition, as we move up, that's another higher layer of potential suitors peeled away, and all of a sudden if they aren't of a Grimes, Watkins or Ampadu standard, they're not saleable in the same sense. We'll undoubtedly need to focus on shifting players on earlier, for risk of contracts running down and losing them for nothing.

It's going to be much, much harder. But that's something we should be relishing.
Which is part of my concerns going forward, would ultimately increasing our Academy category and the costs involved entice more quality? We do need to complete current projects like the training ground but is this a way forward? Colchester are category 2 Academy and have been since 2012, look how they have struggled, but they are also competing with a lot of other clubs for talent around their area.
 

Spoonz Red E

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The Academy is responsible for getting us the where we are, but it's effectiveness will reduce the higher the level the first team plays. The teams we loan the youngsters to haven't changed levels, but to be first teamers here, they'll have to step up a considerable notch. In addition, as we move up, that's another higher layer of potential suitors peeled away, and all of a sudden if they aren't of a Grimes, Watkins or Ampadu standard, they're not saleable in the same sense. We'll undoubtedly need to focus on shifting players on earlier, for risk of contracts running down and losing them for nothing.

It's going to be much, much harder. But that's something we should be relishing.
True enough in terms of the bigger challenge for the academy at higher league level.
Development will still be key though and not just for the youngsters.
Coaching levels right across the training ground seem to be getting stronger.
Look at the turnaround last season in the fortunes of Dieng, Jevani Brown, Sam Nombe, Cameron Dawson, Caprice, Diabate.
All have much better football CVs as individuals now than they did a year ago.
Not to mention the steady improvement with the academy lads coming through at first team level.
We're certainly getting something right.
 

andrew p long

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The Academy is responsible for getting us the where we are, but it's effectiveness will reduce the higher the level the first team plays. The teams we loan the youngsters to haven't changed levels, but to be first teamers here, they'll have to step up a considerable notch. In addition, as we move up, that's another higher layer of potential suitors peeled away, and all of a sudden if they aren't of a Grimes, Watkins or Ampadu standard, they're not saleable in the same sense. We'll undoubtedly need to focus on shifting players on earlier, for risk of contracts running down and losing them for nothing.
....
Whilst there's a lot of truth in that, there are upsides in being in League One too.

First, the academy graduates who prove themselves in League One are worth more than if they'd only ever played in League Two. Currently buyers always argue 'yes, he looks promising but will he cope with a big jump in standard?' and discount initial offers accordingly. If,for example, Cheickh has a storming season in League One he's worth more than if he'd had a similar season in League Two.

Second it gives us a better chance of keeping those academy graduates who move for free at 24 for League One football.
 
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