Neil Redfearn explains why Lucy Ward is key figure in Leeds United's academy

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Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn has explained why himself and Jason Blunt aren't the main men with the club's academy.

Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn explained on BBC Radio Leeds how important Lucy Ward has become for the club’s academy.

Ward is head of education and welfare for the Boys Academy and the first team boss has stressed the important role she plays for the youngsters looking to make a career at the club.

“She’s like a mother figure to them, she looks after them. When these kids come and they stay in digs, she’s basically their mum,” said Redfearn.

“She’s there for them to go to when they’ve got problems. Sometimes it’s not easy to go to a coach and she’s an ear and someone they can go to.”

Leeds United have one of the best academy systems in the country and it appears that a large part of that is thanks to the care and attention which goes into every detail at every level within the youth system.

As with any club, the competitive nature at each level can be intimidating so it’s important the youngsters have someone to turn to if they feel they can’t approach Redfearn personally or can’t talk to the club’s under-21 boss Jason Blunt.

The younger players are more likely to perform consistently and positively if they feel supported and if they are having their pressures and worries in other areas addressed effectively.

Redfearn deserves some credit because he implemented several changes when he was the head of the academy system, but in terms of the day to day running of things, it’s clear to see why he feels Ward is so important.

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