Stadium of Light

Next Game

S'land v Chelsea

Saturday, 29 November 2014, 17:30

Barclays Prem

The King Power Stadium

Last Game

Leicester 0 - 0 S'land

Saturday, 22 November 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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

want to spend more time with my tit-for-tat Autobiographies . He probably didn't say.

megabrow (cufc)
Keane leaves Aston Villa

B

elieve in the dream Ashley. I have a hot tub, I still think I can get all The Saturdays in there for nekkid sexyfuntime. Failing that, Adele.

hump3.
Young: Man United target title

C

onclusions...we are truely living the dream now

dead yeti
Take Your Marks In The Premier League Sack Race

Footer 365

Premier League: Swansea manager Garry Monk defends Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers

Swansea manager Garry Monk has leapt to the defence of under-fire Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers.

Premier League: West Brom manager Alan Irvine sees a defensive weakness in Arsenal

West Brom manager Alan Irvine hopes Arsenal's gung-ho attitude will be their undoing at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Premier League: Southampton manager Ronald Koeman confident of continued success

Manager Ronald Koeman believes Southampton can thrive this term and is relishing taking on the Premier League big boys.

Mail Box

Don't Write Arsenal Off Yet (For Third)

That's the message from the afternoon mailbox, which also suggests Manchester City should look to bin Manuel Pellegrini. Can he take them any further?

Sanchez: A Sliding Doors Moment For Pool

One Liverpool fan regrets the club's failure to sign Alexis Sanchez and thinks Brendan Rodgers and Co should now target the domestic cups. A lot has changed in 12 months...

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