When it comes together it’s worth the wait, the setbacks and the tantrums. It’s just got to start happening more frequently – the belief, consistency and, of course, the goals.
We’ve seen good 20 minutes’ in some matches, some good halves in others but we hadn’t seen anything close to 90 minutes of the football Daniel Farke is trying to create until we played Villa on Saturday.
It was like suddenly switching on the light, clicking your fingers or perhaps rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time – it just fell into place.
Now I’m not thinking this is going to happen every week, but it has offered us hope. There’s a player in Mario, Srbeny is starting to find his place and Josh (one of our own) Murphy has still got that trademark finish.
With the season hardly cantering to an end and not much to play for other than bragging rights over those fellows down the road and perhaps Leeds (we all hate Leeds), all that’s really left is be that spoiler team – to help secure Sunderland’s demise and/or to keep PNE just away from the playoffs. But let’s hope next season we will begin to see more games like Saturday.
With £5 million secured for the much-needed facelift to the Academy to help retain its category one status, ‘one of our own’ is something we should hope to hear more frequently in years to come. With the outdated facility obviously needing some major work it beggars belief how we have let such an integral part of our young footballers’ careers get so antiquated, especially given that more time is spent training, getting fit and having physiology or psychology reports done, than actual game time on a pitch!
When the FA introduced the ‘homegrown’ ruling in 2011 this should have be seen as an area of importance to all clubs that aspire to PL status. To have to include eight homegrown players in your squad of 25, the majority of these players are naturally going to come from the academies.
In essence, it was intended to promote domestic talents rather than look for the more appealing international stars, to bolster the team for the following season and to save the upheaval of teams in the transfer markets.
So when we say ‘homegrown’ let me alert you to the rule ( not wanting to teach you to suck eggs!):
All 20 Clubs must include eight Home Grown players out of a squad of 25 for that Premier League season.
A Home Grown player will be defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).
Clubs are able to supplement their squads with unlimited additional players under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences.
Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window. So Clubs must declare their 25 at the end of August when the window shuts and then again at the end of January.”Article 19 of FIFA’s Regulations on the status and transfer of players only allows transfers of International players over the age of 18, save for limited exceptions, one of these is, if the transfer takes place within the EU or EEA then the age restrictions drop to 16.
This is fundamental in how UK clubs can acquire young cost effective players.
It’s a low risk strategy needing only a small amount of these potential talents to develop into professionals for a high return in investment.
So, young academy players who are brought over from the EU are now ‘homegrown’. Brought over at 16, to allow them to play their football here until they comply with those FIFA guidelines.
And to name a few well-known examples: Hector Bellarin, Cesc Fabregas, Adnan Januzaj.
We may not have used our Academy to full its advantage, but others have.
Now, however, things are about to change. With Brexit looming, and with uncertainty around our trading arrangement with and within the EU, academies will almost certainly play a larger part in the future of young English players. It’s in our government’s hands but where will it leave the footballing world?
Will it force our homegrown players to become just that?
Will we have scouts more prevalent at grassroots?
Stewart Webber spoke of his concerns about this matter at the Canaries Trust AGM – another reason he felt we needed that area to be working for us in the future.
Another requirement of work permit criteria from the FA is the governing body endorsement (GBE). All sportsmen and sportswomen who require a tier 2 or tier 5 visa from the Home Office must have a GBE from their respective sport’s governing body.
A player can automatically qualify if they have played a minimum percentage of senior competitive international games for his national team or through a points-based system. Points are based on the transfer fee paid, the salary offered in relation to others in the league and are also awarded depending on the level played at previous clubs in respect of top domestic and continental competition.
Personally, I can’t see footballers gaining “the highly-skilled worker” category giving them exemptions from Brexit rulings!
So, football could be on the brink of big changes post season 2019.
Could little ol’ Norwich just have foreseen what could be happening?
For certain, post-Brexit GBE criteria and Financial Fair Play rules will have an effect throughout football, but exactly what it will look like and what it will be no one knows right now.
Tighter restrictions could give the European clubs the upper hand, forcing Premier League clubs to look to young English talent, something that would surely help our national squad of the future.
So, while we may be witnessing our very own transitional period at the moment, I have a feeling it’s going to be a transition on a much wider scale for the Premier League in the next few years.