Departing Robinson urges Millwall to give youth a chance

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

MILLWALL legend Paul Robinson has urged the club to put its faith in youth after his exit from The Den this week.

Robinson, who first signed professional terms with the Lions in 2001, reached an agreement to cancel his Millwall contract on Tuesday.

The popular defender, 33, has since completed a permanent move to Portsmouth, where has been on loan since August.

And Robinson, who came through the academy ranks, hopes to see the next generation of young centre backs establish themselves in the Lions' first team.

Sid Nelson, 18, has made his first two senior appearances in recent weeks, while Jake Goodman, 21, impressed in front of the TV cameras for loan club AFC Wimbledon against Liverpool on Monday.

Robinson said: "I'm a big believer in giving youth a chance because those lads have a special affinity with the club and are the ones who can really take Millwall forward.

"It's nice that there is a real opportunity for the academy boys to break through and make a career for themselves, just like I did.

"I trained with Sid quite a bit at the start of this season and he's an absolute Millwall type – a textbook Millwall player in my eyes. He's got a very, very bright future.

"Obviously he's young and raw, and when you're maturing as a centre half there is a lot you need to learn, physically and technically.

"But Sid is hungry, desperate to learn and I can only see him going from strength to strength.

"I broke into the team here in a very similar situation back in 2001 and now Sid is in the same position.

"He's got a great opportunity to establish himself as a Millwall player which I know he is very capable of doing.

"I played against Jake for Portsmouth on Boxing Day and he did really well – I was very impressed.

"He's been around the senior squad for a few years now and he's always wanted to work hard, improve and get better.

"He was fantastic against Liverpool, and he'll learn so much from an occasion like that and by playing against top class strikers.

"The door isn't closed for him at Millwall and it would be good to see him get a chance.

"There is a good group of young players and the club is definitely building something. There is now a pathway through to the first team."

Robinson leaves Millwall after making 362 appearances – but had not been selected by manager Ian Holloway this season.

"There are no hard feelings at all and I've appreciated his honesty with me," he added.

"Ollie is the manager and I respected his view, even though it wasn't easy to hear. He told me the truth and has allowed me to move on and continue my playing career elsewhere.

"I obviously wish the club nothing but success in the future and I hope Ollie can bring it to them.”

It is understood that the idea of Robinson returning to the club as a coach in the future has already been discussed.

"That's lovely to have on the horizon in the future because I've got a big connection with Millwall," he said.

"If that can be the next step in my future career, I could think of no better place to start.

"I've got a great relationship with some very good people there.

"I'll keep in touch with them all and Millwall’s result will be the first I look for as soon as I get back in the dressing room.

"I'm constantly keeping an eye on what's going on and I'll be a regular visitor to The Den."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

10 thoughts on “Departing Robinson urges Millwall to give youth a chance

  • January 8, 2015 at 11:46
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    Robbo I am sure you will be back in some capacity in the near future, we always want someone who really know and gets this club, all the best on the south coast.

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    • January 8, 2015 at 12:32
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      @Strood Lion: I'm afraid this is the reality. The youth players get a few games then are shipped out. Meanwhile, every knackered old-journeyman comes in to take their place. We haven't seen decent youngsters properly come through since the days of Rhino & McLeary - two ex-youth team players themselves.

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  • January 8, 2015 at 12:05
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    Would be great to have you training our new academy graduates Robbo. The club needs that kind of knowledge to be passed down.

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  • January 8, 2015 at 12:10
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    is their no end to Robbo's class. what a guy. better than ace rimmer in fact

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  • January 8, 2015 at 12:22
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    Hopefully Robbo you told the so called manager some of these truths in your exit interview - he seems the only one nhat cannot see the need for change and that we have the talent within.
    Basic stuff

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  • January 8, 2015 at 12:51
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    Club legend. Hope we have him and Harris involved as coaches/manger in the future...

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  • January 8, 2015 at 14:17
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    100% agree, youth is the future but considering the current situation I think it is better to get some more experienced guys into the team who can help out this season. Once we finish the league in a more or less good position the team should integrate some of the youth players for next season.

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  • January 8, 2015 at 14:55
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    Good luck for the future Robbo. Look forward to seeing you back home with the club in the future.
    Thanks for Wembley play-off goal. We'll never forget it. And thanks for 350+ games when you never gave us anything less than 100%. Finally I hope someone is listening when you say give youth a chance. That is our future.

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  • January 9, 2015 at 01:15
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    I cannot wait to have Robinson back as a coach. He is a club legend and an example to follow for young players.

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