It is an interesting post and I like a good stat to prove a point, I do think however that we all know how poor we have been at home (and not just under Todd either). This is one thing that the Club need to sort out if they want to get out of financial trouble, as lets face it home games are the bread and butter when it comes to making money. At the moment the match day experience isn’t good enough both on the pitch and off of it. We need to try and get a carnival atmosphere down at Valley Parade with flags, balloons, Horns, Drums or whatever. I’m not a big fan of bands at football but I’m also not a fan of the current situation with the atmosphere. It had been suggested to the board that we close down the top stands (it hasn’t been done) it was also suggested that we get the Bradford End back and create a singing section which would hopefully get the other stands going. I’m not saying that all of the above would improve the team’s performance but it will improve the match day experience for the most important people down at Valley Parade, THE FANS. It will also take the blame away from the fans that we are currently getting.
As you will see the above issues are out of Todd’s hands, so its time for other board members to start to show their worth. So far the only person who has impressed me (apart from Rhodes) is Peter Etherington who seems to be making some steps forward with the commercial aspects at city and I assume he had a part to play in getting the Starlight’s to city, and if this is a step at trying to emulate the Bradford Bulls experience then in my opinion it’s a good thing.
As far as the youth system is concerned I fully agree, Huddersfield (it pains me to say) have made fantastic steps forward, mainly due to the fact the have a superb youth system. There are two issues here that need addressing, one of which again lies at the board’s door. I know money is tight but we need to invest in this area of the club and to be honest I would prefer we kept the wages we pay Petta, Claridge, Holloway, Taylor etc and store it for a decent youth academy. I don’t know the solution but people have a free place on the board to work this out and again they can earn their place at the club. The other side of this issue is actually giving a place to players that deserve it, Jackson has the nerve to give these kids a chance (something that again pains me to say) sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t, but how will you know otherwise??? Looking at the players with a squad number I believe these players deserve a chance:-
Symes (not through our system but showed promise)
Sanasy (banging the goals in for fun admittedly at a lower level)
Penord (showed promise)
Forrest (not one of my favourites but may have found his place on the wing)
Betham (well thought of within the club)
Swift (well thought of by the fans)
Denton (done well out on loan)
Wright (done well out on loan)
Brown (done all he can to get a place)
On top of these you have Denvers and Hopkins who are getting a chance of youth international games, and players like McGuire, Colbeck and Mitchell who are getting good reviews. I know certain posters laugh at the reaction from the fans to youth players getting a game, but if it lifts the fans then why not do it. Surely its better for the players to at least fail trying rather than to end up in the non-league without ever getting a chance. If they are good enough they are old enough. On the plus side if it does work and the players come good we could be selling them for £250,000 instead of letting them go for free.
My final point would be that at least Todd has hinted to the fans that he will turn to youth and as such I’m willing to give him some breathing space, and to be honest I would be willing to stay in this league until the players came good. With a good mix of experience and youth we would have a better chance climbing the leagues than we currently do. If he doesn’t make steps towards giving the youth a chance then I think we have to let him go and get somebody in who has the guts to at least try.
Blimey another long winded post from me!!! Well at least you got a reply Tony.