St James' Park, Newcastle

Next Game

Newcastle v S'land

Sunday, 21 December 2014, 13:30

Barclays Prem

Stadium of Light

Last Game

S'land 1 - 1 West Ham

Saturday, 13 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

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

I

suspect the review will conclude that Iago Aspas should never have been loaned out. Two hat-tricks in two Copa Del Rey games. One might say he has really turned a corner.

GVMUFC
'Liverpool in transfer review'

P

oise, power and (I noticed in his post match interview) freakishly large hands. You know what they say about men with big hands.......... big gloves.

disGUSting
Poise And Power: Barkley's Unique Blend

S

itting next to him in the studio will surely be the closest Jamie Carragher ever got to Thierry...

bungle1976
Henry retires and joins Sky

Footer 365

Capital One Cup: Tottenham thump Newcastle 4-0 to reach the semi-finals

Tottenham thrashed Newcastle United 4-0 at White Hart Lane to reach the Capital One Cup semi-finals.

Premier League: Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge to be treated by Boston Red Sox staff

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge is set to spend Christmas in Boston as he continues to receive treatment on a thigh injury.

League Two: Hartlepool's new manager Ronnie Moore ready for 'biggest job'

Hartlepool's new manager Ronnie Moore says he is taking on "the biggest job in English football".

Mail Box

Pulis To Liverpool Might Just Work

One Mailboxer believes that Tony Pulis managing Liverpool isn't as silly as you might think. Plus Bournemouth aren't that romantic and we're all guilty of ignoring Everton...

It's Not As Simple As Losing Luis Suarez...

That's the view of Liverpool fans in the mailbox as the Reds continue to struggle without their talisman. Suarez isn't doing particularly well at Barca either, it should be said...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property