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Harrison on Albion's Academy internationals

ACADEMY Manager Mark Harrison is “delighted” a host of Albion youngsters have been called-up to represent their countries.

The October international break sees plenty of first-team players jet off to compete in pivotal World Cup Qualifiers, but there are also a number of Baggies youth players reporting to represent their nations this week. 

“We’re delighted that we’ve got a number of players out on international duty again at a stage of the season where the international breaks come thick and fast,” said Mark.

“I like to think that’s a reflection of the quality of players that we have in the Academy and also a reflection of the hard work that people are putting in, in terms of the development of the players. 

“Sam Field and Jonathan Leko are away with England, Tyler Roberts is away with Wales, Dara O’Shea and Shaun Donnellan are away with Ireland and we’ve got Pablo Martinez and Adam Przybek with Wales.

“We’ve got Chisom Afoka, Louie Barry, Rico Richards and Timothy Iroegbunam away at an England under-15s training camp as well, so I think we’re into double figures of players away on international duty at the moment."

Representing their nations allows players to work with different coaches and team-mates, as well as the opportunity to experience new cultures - something Mark believes can only be a good thing.

“We see the players going out on international duty as an integral part of their development,” he added.

“They’ll be playing alongside and against top-class players who are the elites for their country, and you would like to think that their training sessions will be different and challenging.

“The exposure to different types of international football is also really good for the players tactically and dealing with the travel, the recovery and the pressure because for some of them it’s qualifiers and there’s something on these games.”

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