Tony: Work Goes On

Academy director Tony Carr says the club has "no divine right" to continue snapping up the best young talent - but he and the staff are trying to keep their reputation for doing just that intact.

With two of the recent products of the famous system on show for England in the World Cup, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole, and another, Michael Carrick, knocking on the door of the England squad, Tony knows that keeping the success going is a tall order.

"It is very difficult now; just because we run an academy it does not mean we have a divine right to have the best players," he says.

"It is just about attracting the best players as early as we can and hoping they stick with us.

"Our record speaks for itself in terms of producing young players and giving them the opportunity; we just hope it filters through to the young players that this is the club to come to in order to progress."

Earlier in the week, Tony introduced some of the players who are joining this summer on scholarship forms.

Of the other four of the intake of eight who hope to follow in Joe and Rio's footsteps, Tony says:

"Tommy Laws has been converted to centre back from central midfield; he is very tall, six foot one or two now.

"He is a good footballer who has already played with the 17s and the 19s this year; hopefully he has a good future and will do very well.

"Sam Wright is from Oxford, a right back who is full of running, tenacious, a tough tackler, and he loves to get forward.

"He has a nice physique, a good size, and we think he will do very well.

"Marce Collington is a south London boy; he is a fast, strong running dribbling player who is very good at doing things in tight situations.

"He has scored a goal or two, and hopefully we can add a little bit more subtlety to his game - like all the boys, we have high hopes for him."

"Liam Parrington is another England schoolboy international, a centre back; he has had problems with injuries in the middle part of the season, but he has recovered from that and, like all the boys, we hope he can progress.

"It is just about how they get on, who develops, and at what rate."