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U's Youth Cuts An Unwanted Growth Stunt

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Youth Cuts An Unwanted Growth Stunt

There`s bound to be grumbling when Colchester United admit the credit crunch caused them to scrap their entire scouting department, and scale-down the club`s youth policy.

Appreciate the irony of this make-or-buy recruitment dilemma is that United are busily signing other players all the while. Colchester are even reportedly today preparing to break their transfer record with a third bid for Hibernian man-mountain, Rob Jones.

Perhaps it`s too early to say RIP to the next Lomana Lua lua, Greg Halford, Dean Gerken, Anthony Wordsworth, Medi Elito or Jamie Guy. But it doesn`t feel that premature.

There are those who say being resistant to all forms of change is reductive; of course, if you stand still anywhere too long, you tend to go backwards.

Cutting in these areas, though, while the club also continues to expand both commercially seems a mite hypocritical, especially given their past track record in youth development.

What the U`s are implicitly saying is that investment in raw talent simply not viable in the current financial climate. Not for a small side seemingly increasingly intent on putting the grandiose public gesture before other long-established priorities.

Not true? Then why stop at the source the convey belt of production which has served Colchester so well in times past?

Yes, football fans have short memories, and deep pockets. They`ll pay to have the name of that next big arrival plastered on their back and won`t ask any questions if the side wins promotion this year.

But that`s short-term. What about considering next year, or the next five years, rather than just thinking about today and tomorrow?

Arsène Wenger, this county`s leading purveyor of young academy talent over big-name imports, would be most appalled.

Oh, ah, LuaLua!

Some players inspire cults wherever they go and in that respect former Colchester man Lomana LuaLua is doing a fine job.

Respected in Essex, Newcastle and Portsmouth, some idle Youtubing produced a languid LuaLua song, inspired by fans in his name after his short stay in Greece with Olympiakos.

Still, it also seems the player, now in Qatar, changes him mind as much as he transfers clubs, because he recently said he`d like to re-join Colchester, "one day."

That comment was also around about the same time as told the media he felt he had "unfinished business" to attend to at Newcastle United.

Anyone get the feeling he just wants to come back to the British Isles?

Guy Faults

In this space last week, I attempted to gave a rather considered, if one-sided, justification of the actions that led Jamie Guy to court not once, but twice. One of them involved a drink-drive charge.

What I forgot to mention is that footballers have a duty in their elevated public position as role-models to the next generation of sportspeople, to the youth of today.

Where that ethical point is concerned, there`s absolutely no defence against practicing life`s darker vices.

He Wouldn`t, Woody?

Anthony Wordsworth was booked just before half-time for tripping an opponent from behind as he went to take a corner as the U`s faced Bristol Rovers last Saturday.

Except the Colchester midfielder, who stuck his foot out from the technical area while warming up, wasn`t even on the pitch yet.

Some have called the act unsporting, some gamesmanship. Others have said it was a form of cheating.

What nobody will ever call Woody`s little piece of footwork, for which he was booked, is a mistake.




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The Journalist

Writer: Matt_Us Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 29 2009

Time: 12:02PM

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