Stadium of Light

Next Game

S'land v Burnley

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Stadium of Light

Last Game

S'land 0 - 0 Fulham

Saturday, 24 January 2015, 15:00

The FA Cup Fourth Round

Ball's youth hope with Poyet

Kevin Ball hopes that Gus Poyet will continue to grow the relationship between Sunderland's first-team and youth squads.

Last Updated: 12/10/13 at 16:36 Post Comment

Kevin Ball: Sunderland academy chief wants young players to progress

Kevin Ball: Sunderland academy chief wants young players to progress

Academy chief Ball, who was caretaker boss at Sunderland following the sacking of Paolo Di Canio, admits that the relationship between the seniors and other squads was not as he would have liked under the Italian.

However, Ball looked to change things during his brief tenure and feels Poyet will make sure that there is more involvement between all players at the club.

"Paolo Di Canio had nothing against the Under-21s - I think he just wanted to concentrate on the first team, and that was his prerogative as manager," he told the Sunderland Echo.

"Mine would always be, if I was in charge as manager, I would want a certain integration.

"My view is that the 18s needs to dovetail with the 21s and the 21s need to dovetail with the first team and if it means that they mix in at the right time then so be it.

"Obviously you reserve the right to train separately.

"But I find it's good to have the 18s training with the 21s at times because the 18s might think it's easy and most quickly find that it's not - that it's a lot quicker.

"And then the 21s might train with the first team and find exactly the same themselves.

"On the other hand you'll see some of the under 18s doing well enough to merit involvement with the 21s and some of the 21s doing well enough to merit involvement with the first team.

"I'm mindful that the first team has the experience, the strength, the physicality and the greater skill levels but they can be energised by being up against younger players."

Ball admits that he was quick to make sure all the players mixed together when appropriate.

"I did it with practice matches to give squad players who have had little involvement in the first team some match practice," he said.

"And I thought it worked well because it gave the 21s a view of the first team.

"They get to know each other and understand each other and it helps increase knowledge experience and competition within the group."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

O

ne of the conclusions from this list is that Man City should never buy a striker in January - good luck Wilfried Bony....

Savinator
F365's Top Ten Worst January Panic Buys

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

Footer 365

Transfer news: Samuel Eto'o leaves Everton for Sampdoria on free transfer

Samuel Eto'o has completed his free transfer from Everton to Sampdoria on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

Premier League: Stoke striker Bojan will miss remainder of the season through injury

Stoke forward Bojan will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a knee ligament injury against Rochdale.

Sky sources: Football Association to endorse Prince Ali's bid for FIFA presidency

Sky sources understand the Football Association will back Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein's bid to become FIFA president.

Mail Box

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company