A look into the future
Is this a little look into the future at the team we'll be watching in a year or two's time if we are still in the 3rd Division?
It is always nice to see the club offering second-year scholars professional contracts, although they tend to be only for a year which doesn't allow for any reverse in progression or much room for serious injury. Five out of the nine second year academy players were offered professional terms today
, compared to only Jack Clark and Alex Stavrinou a year ago.
Sadly goalkeeper Jack (Ja Ja) Binks, centre-half Jordan Anderson plus midfielders Liam Bellamy and Harry Pell will leave the club in the summer and I hope they all come back and make the grade with other clubs so we can all moan that they escaped the net at some point in the future.
Five is a decent number, although it might reflect our new found league status but that should take nothing away from the joy the young lads must feel tonight and Steve Gritt, Damian Matthew and Steve Avory should be very proud. This all achieved without the aid of a reserve team and a very bad winter but Charlton have made good use of the non-league work experience programme.
All fans love to see home-grown players come through into the first team, and I'm disappointed that Tuna, Solly, Wagstaff or in fact Shelvey haven't featured much this term. However if we don't make it up this season we would do no worse than to take a few steps back and re-build the squad around youth together with a good spattering of more experienced and work-man-like professionals.
Good luck to Yado, Carl, Tamer, Ben and Lewis. We look forward to hearing your name read out on the teamsheet.