Harrison: International football great for youngsters development

ACADEMY Manager Mark Harrison is delighted with the number of Albion youngsters who have been called up to represent their country during the latest international break.

Sam Field will be away with England’s under-20s for their matches against Poland and Portugal. 

Pablo Martinez and Adam Przybek are going away with Wales under-19s, and Dara O’Shea is joining up with the Republic of Ireland under-19s.

Meanwhile Rayhaan Tulloch will play for England under-17s in their double header against Brazil, and Morgan Rogers is with the England under-16s for the Montaigu Tournament. Elsewhere Jonathan Leko (England under-19s), Nathan Ferguson (England under-18s), Kane Wilson (England under-18s) and Kevin Healy (Republic of Ireland under-18s) are all on standby.

“I think we’ve always been very clear on our policy on internationals and players going away,” explained Harrison.

“We think it’s great for their development because they’ll be facing new experiences, as you can imagine, playing against different styles and players who will have a different psychological mentality, technical ability and understanding to them.

“And also it’s the cultural experiences as well. Going away to different countries, having to deal with different climates and the travelling that comes with it.

“Dealing with all of those little challenges are all very important, and it seems to me that every time we’ve got an international break now we have players going all over the place.”

Harrison also believes that, on a senior level, England boss Gareth Southgate is sending out the right messages to the younger players by rewarding Albion midfielder Jake Livermore with a place in his squad for the games against Netherlands and Italy.

“I think that was a great message from Gareth Southgate, and I think it’s the message that we’re all trying to be consistent about in Academy football in particular,” he added.

“It’s about attitude and mentality, which is what ultimately gets you across the line into the first team - especially when you’re a young footballer.

“It’s so easy to get carried away, and I think that was a fantastic message because you can see that Gareth Southgate is trying to create a culture there, the right type of culture.

“And I think that reflects the work that is going on not just in West Bromwich Albion’s Academy, but other Academies as well.

“It’s something that we’re very strong about - if you put the work in and you’re consistent about doing the work then hopefully you’ll get your rewards in the long term.”

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