Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn explained on BBC Radio Leeds why he feels the club’s academy is different to the setup at other sides.
Redfearn feels the youth system at Leeds is unique because of the care and attention which goes into all aspects of handling and developing the younger players at the club.
“Why we’re different from so many academies is because we’ve got these people who do care – when we take the kids in, we listen and we respect the fact they’re putting themselves out (the parents) to bring the kids in,” said Redfearn.
“It’s a real trust thing, we’ve been entrusted with these boys to look after them and to develop them as players.”
The success of the club’s academy is physical and can be judged by the number of top quality players the team has performing in the first team.
Players like Sam Byram, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt are all very good examples to the youngsters trying to make the grade that if they work hard enough, they will eventually get a chance to impress.
Football is a sport dominated by a world of agents and third parties claiming to represent the best interests of players, but Leeds are a side that establish trust, as Redfearn suggests, from a very early age.
Some clubs see players as commodities and products but Leeds try to show empathetic values to the players and the parents who are making an effort to help their sons make an impact and add value to a hobby they love.
The first team shows the club must be doing several things right, and long may the successful formula continue.