Club News

Academy continues to prosper

Albion U15s fall to Manchester City following impressive cup run

A WEEK of acclaim and distinction for Albion's Academy closed with last night's Floodlit Super Cup final against Manchester City.

The U15s were beaten 4-1 at Burton, after taking the lead through Finn Azaz, but produced flashes of dominance against their opponents, having seen-off Arsenal and Chelsea en route to the final.

The Baggies earned their place in the Super Cup final having last month triumphed in the southern section final (PICTURED ABOVE), beating Chelsea 2-1 at St George's Park thanks to goals from Yusuff Ojebode and Rayhaan Tulloch.

Yesterday's game concluded several days of immeasurable recognition for Albion's Academy.

It included: 

* The Premier League debut of 16-year-old Jonathan Leko.

* The inclusion of four one-time Albion youth products in FourFourTwo magazine's top 50 Football League players: Kemar Roofe, George Thorne, Romaine Sawyers and Chris Wood.

* Roofe was part of the Oxford United side narrowly defeated by Barnsley in last weekend's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley.

* And, most notable of all perhaps, Tony Pulis' media comments that Albion's Academy was the best he had seen throughout his managerial career, with the head coach hinting that he was prepared to call more of the club's youngster into his first-team fold between now and the end of the season.

Academy manager Mark Harrison said: "What people need to realise is that we started this journey 10 years ago and have slowly had to build.

"The chairman has built the infrastructure and there has been a lot of hard work put in by many people.

"We have got some very, very good youngsters who have the potential to replicate the likes of Saido and others who have come through our ranks and gone onto play first-team football.

"To see Jonathan make his Premier League debut last week was a proud moment for us all."

Speaking about last night's Floodlit Cup Super final, Harrison added: "We took the lead and they equalised just before half-time - with a goal that we felt should have been a foul.

"The scoreline flattered Manchester City and our lads and staff deserve a lot of credit to get past some good sides in the journey to the final.

"The boys can take confidence and experience from this - they've done very well."