Jim Cassell can’t wait to put his thumbprint on an exciting new international project.
The Blues Academy chief is to head up a team charged with expanding the club’s renowned youth culture throughout the planet beginning in Abu Dhabi.
The project is scheduled for lift off at the end of this year and Cassell is already planning his team.
“It is great to be in on the ground floor of such an exciting project, we have the proverbial blank sheet of paper,” enthused the man who has shepherded 27 youngsters into the Premier League and lifted the FA Youth Cup since arriving at City from Oldham.
“I am thrilled to be part of such a ground-breaking venture. We have been having conversations for the past year about doing something new. If we didn’t add to what we do and come up with something new there was a fear that people in the Academy might alienate themselves away from new initiatives in the club.
“We want to be part of the successful evolvement of this club and the best way to do that is being at the forefront of the creation of new plans.”
Cassell was quick to reassure parents and fans that there would be no let up in standards or ambition at Platt Lane while he was away. In fact it would be quite the reverse.
“Of course Platt Lane will go on and it will get stronger over the years,” he declared. “Everyone has seen the investment that the new owners have put in there already which is fantastic.
“Everything is going well at Platt Lane but the worst thing you can do with any successful organisation that has been strong is to let it fester and grow weak. We didn’t want it to slip into that mode.”
Cassell is primed to take some of his staff with him from Platt Lane on the new venture but he is not naming any names.
“We are not going to announce who will support me on the international initiative but there is another great opportunity for a couple of staff with great experience,” he said.
The Academy could then be re-energised with people who have the same kind of hunger and ambition we had when we started the ball rolling a dozen years ago. That is a pretty good recipe for success.
“This will not be a case of a Premier League club going in somewhere for a couple of weeks, getting some publicity and then leaving. There will be an important and lasting legacy left by the project.”