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Academy News

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Be patient, Jim tells his Boy Blues

Jim Cassell 0809

Jim Cassell 0809

Jim Cassell is challenging his young Academy graduates to make the leap to the first-team squad despite City's new-found ability to compete for senior stars with the richest Premier League and European clubs.

The Blues' Academy manager believes the bright lights of City's FA Youth Cup winners and semi-finalists have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of such players as Stephen Ireland, Nedum Onuoha and Micah Richards.

But he has assured the magnificent seven who start adjusting to life in Glyn Hodges' reserve squad next month that they can make the grade against expensive imported rivals - even though they will have to show some patience.

Cassell said: "The challenge for those players is to go across to Carrington and keep improving, but they have to realise that you don't win the race on the first lap.

"They have to learn the second phase of their careers now. They have done very well here and competed with the best - last year our Under-18s only lost to Arsenal all season, which is a terrific achievement.

"They have a great pedigree. Now they need to accept they are no longer the big fish and have to take on the next phase of their learning process. If they do that, they have a fantastic chance, because they all have ability.

"The test for them is to deal with the new environment at Carrington and get used to the fact that in training they will have to play with the likes of Robinho, Petrov and Ireland.

"What will help is that they will be meeting up with players from last year's successful youth team, like Vlad Weiss. The great test for them is to see whether they can join the Robinhos of this world."
  
The boys who make the move across are: England Under-19 right-back Kieran Trippier, Liberian striker Alex Nimely, England Under-19 midfielder Andrew Tutte, Irish midfielder Greg Cunningham, Belgian defender Dedryk Boyata, Norwegian midfielder Abdi Ibrahim, and Slovak striker Robbie Mak.

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Academy Platt Lane 2008

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