The idea of a first team full of locally developed players is an ideal favoured by many, but perhaps not the most realistic outlook.
However, teams should look to Tottenham Hotspur for inspiration as they are doing this, and doing it well.
Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Tom Carroll and Nabil Bentaleb are all Tottenham academy graduates, while Danny Rose and Alex Pritchard joined in their mid-teens.
Enthusiastic and hungry, academy players have been rising through the ranks to show their worth and passion to play for the first team. Thousands of youth players are desperate to succeed but only a handful will make it.
At the age of 16, boys become full-time 'scholars’, often moving near the club to lodge with landladies. They are paid £100 a week as an apprentice, and education becomes the responsibility of the academy. Every week, Tottenham converts its hospitality room at White Hart Lane into a classroom for 'education day.’
By being taken through the academy, young players become ultra-fit, disciplined, have travelled the world playing football and had a go at achieving their dream, even if they do not make it. Most importantly, all will have leaned transferable skills should the world of being a player not become a reality.
Want to be part of the industry? Want to coach? Find out more about job roles at leading clubs around the world here: https://www.jobsinfootball.com/