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Millwall academy boss enthused by Holloway's approach

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL academy boss Scott Fitzgerald has described Ian Holloway's approach to the club's youth set-up as "phenomenal".

Holloway has given four promising Lions – Fred Onyedinma, Josh Siafa, Jack Powell and Ben Thompson – their senior debuts since his appointment in January.

Goalkeeper Denzel Gerrar has also been promoted to the first-team bench this season.

And Fitzgerald has been enthused by Holloway's policy.

He said: "Holloway has already shown that he's going to give youth a chance.

"He did it last season with Fred, he took the U21s to the pre-season training camp in Portugal and he's given three lads their senior debuts this year.

"The manager is seeing that we have got some good players coming through and the next step is to get them into the team."

Fitzgerald added: "The manager stated on day one that he wants to build the club, which for me says it all.

"Most managers plan for today but Ollie is looking further down the line.

"We have had numerous meetings about what’s going on with every age group, who's coming through and how we do things.

"For me it has been brilliant. For a manager to wonder what the U9s are doing is amazing – I can't stress that enough. It’s been phenomenal in that respect."

Holloway has credited Fitzgerald and U21 manager Neil Harris for giving Millwall's youngsters "fantastic" attitudes.

"I'm excited about the growth of the club," Holloway said. "It goes right the way back to Scott deciding to stay with the club when Fulham wanted him in the summer.

"That wasn't a financial decision, it was a football decision. Scott likes his job and what he’s doing here. He's really, really good at it.

"It speaks volumes for the club that we've got someone like Scott who was headhunted by a big club but still wanted to stay.

"He knows that if the academy players are doing well, I'll pick them. I've let Josh Wright go because Jack Powell has done well and at the moment he’s going to play.

"At the end of the day, what does your youth coach want? To see the likes of Powell get their chance.

"Scott and Neil have given the young players an absolutely fantastic attitude – every single one of them."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

10 thoughts on “Millwall academy boss enthused by Holloway's approach

  • September 12, 2014 at 14:33
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    For clubs like ours on limited budgets, the way forward has to be promotion to the senior squad by our talented youth. The only downside is that if we unearth a little gem, the fatcat prem clubs will pay top money to stick them on the bench. Sad but a fact of life. COYL

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  • September 12, 2014 at 15:08
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    Building on the revolution that was started by KJ, Holloway is taking the club forward in every respect. This is very impressive stuff, long may it continue.

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    • September 12, 2014 at 18:25
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      @TheDiceman: what did KJ do for the youth Academy exactly ??????
      We lost youth players under Jackett KJ's youth legacy is Marquis ...enough said

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  • September 12, 2014 at 15:18
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    The fact of the matter is.if we dont get 2-3 thousand extra down the den.we will be in trouble with that stupid rule ffp..so the only way forward is the youth not cos he wants to chuck em in early cos he has to

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  • September 12, 2014 at 15:21
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    @WALLCHEF: that's ok, you know what happened with Zaha at palace, he went to United for 13million, now he's back playing for palace on loan, I'd love the same happen for one of ours,and we pocket all that money.

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    • September 12, 2014 at 15:31
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      Maybe one day soon young players will realise the grass isn't always greener on the other, fat cat premiership side. How many young players in the last few years have been poached by bigger clubs and never got a chance at their host club but been perpetually loaned out to the championship and below? I think any young kid with a bit of nous should tell their agent to do one and stick around at clubs like ours instead of grabbing the short term buck. The more ollie gives our young uns a chance and as our reputation for looking after our kids grows we will be able to attract better an better youngsters to the club. JB should be praised for this too in giving Ollie assurances that he has a long term future here which means he isn't constantly looking over his shoulder and worrying about his job. It means he has the breathing space to think and look long term

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      • September 12, 2014 at 16:56
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        @fashs forearm: I agree but ultimately itcomes down to money. If we offer a player a new contract for x amount the fatcats will offer more , which turns a young mans head. Even the same money offered by a prem team , for a teenager is going to be hard to reject, even knowing that it's u likely that they will be no more than a bench warmer.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 15:41
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    with all the arguments about what makes a legend,perhaps in scott we have one in the making,could have gone to another club with possibly more money,but liked where millwall were going under ollie and decided to stay,bomber is already a legend from his playing days,so here is hoping scott will also reach the millwall legend status

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  • September 12, 2014 at 21:41
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    remarkable turn around from last year! it just goes to show what a great manager can do. every club needs a solid foundation to build off and if that means starting from the bottom then so be it! ollie is a clever manager despite all his madness. the fact he is taking an interest in the u9's say's to me he is planning for a seriously long stint at the club. scott also deserves a LOT of credit, he's doing a fantastic job himself. i can see millwall heading for bigger things and not as far away as we might of thought?

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    • September 13, 2014 at 11:32
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      @steveomfc5: Excellent post. In order for clubs like us to survive we have to have a successful Youth Policy to lay the foundations for the future. When watching my beloved Lions nothing gives me greater satisfaction than seeing Home grown talent come through the ranks showing ability and the Millwall spirit. Yes, we have to be thankful for both JB and IH having the intelligence to realize this. Above all we are very privileged in having both Scott and Neil who have both demonstrated their commitment to our cause.

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