09:30 14th June 2013
And Academy boss gives his thoughts on Brown and Berahino's futures
ALBION Academy boss Mark Harrison believes youngster George Thorne will return from long-term injury having already earned the ‘trust and respect’ of the club’s senior pros.
The 20-year-old midfielder’s 2012/13 season was cruelly cut short by an anterior cruciate ligament knee injury in January.
Prior to that the Baggies Academy product was recalled from a successful loan spell at Peterborough in the Championship at the end of December.
And Harrison believes he impressed enough in a five-game Barclays Premier League spell during Christmas and New Year to confirm his arrival as a genuine top-flight player as he battles back to fitness in time for next season.
“George Thorne had a really good spell in the first team,” he said.
“We were really gutted when he got injured because I think he’d really just started to show his maturity.
“He gained the trust of his peers and everybody at the club.
“Hopefully he comes back from injury at some point in pre-season.
“And I think he is in the group now as somebody who is respected at that level.
“I remember watching his second-half performance at Manchester United and I thought he was outstanding.
“As an Academy staff, we were really proud of that.”
Harrison has also tipped Academy starlet Isaiah Brown for big things at The Hawthorns after he made his Barclays Premier League debut last term at the age of 16.
And he says 19-year-old striker Saido Berahino is another one to watch out for as he looks to bounce back from an injury-hit season.
“Izzy made his debut and is a player with lots of potential,” he added.
“If he continues to evolve and has the hunger, drive and determination, there is no reason he can’t become an outstanding West Bromwich Albion player.
“But there is lots of work for him to do.
“Saido had a good loan spell at Peterborough but then got injured.
“Had he not been injured he might have had a couple of first-team opportunities before the end of last season.”