Lyn Talent Factory
I've had another sub-standard youth intake in what has been a very hit and miss time at the club. I don't want to compare this too much with my Vienna save - but by the time we'd maxed out our facilities and had become the most reputable club in the land - we were regularly producing very good players. I have split it into four sections - as seen here:
The word 'potential' is in brackets as there is obviously the element of luck and chance here. I would say that, in my 18 years as manager, I've produced two players from the top part of the pyramid. I believe that Allasan is close to world class and Forsdal has the potential to be so. That is fine - how many not-particularly big (but remember, we are known continentally here and are the 28th most reputable team on the continent) have produced two world class players in the past few years? The teams around us, currently, are:
I'd be interested to see if anyone thinks that any of these teams have produced two world class players - or players who could become world class?
That's not my issue - it is the ability to produce players who are capable of playing at a good level in Europe. Not five years ago, when we were in European competition, four of our top six players - when rated by CA - were signed from Africa. This came at a time when I had nearly maxed out facilities and I had already won three or four league titles. Out of my current crop of players - I think that only Hamnes and possibly Tahiri fit into this category - where they can walk into most teams playing in European competition. I believe that Doumbia and Knudsen could fall into this category - but I have had several players with this much perceived potential that haven't filled it.
Now, I'm great at producing players who are good enough for this league, and I know that the second tier and below is full of our ex-players, here is just a small selection of those who are playing well this season after spending their youth at this club:
This backs up my idea that I haven't missed any one - even Fossum, Bohlin Falch (now back the club) and Mathiesen only went on to play for mediocre teams - Fossum: Olympiakos and Stoke and Mathiesen: never played for Lazio, Deportivo, Legia Warsaw and now Bournemouth.
Which brings me on to my current youth intake:
Ok - this is perceived potential from average staff but there is one player here who I feel could be a good Eliteserien player, possibly making it in other parts of Europe - Tom Sandsor. The fact is, though, that he's pretty average across the board and this futuristic gameworld really seems to go for players who have that one standout attribute (if you look at all the world class players now - they have at least one facet of their game which is a 19 or 20 and their octagon is always nearly maxed in one area - Sandsor will never be able to achieve anywhere near this). Take Petterson, for example - he can never me more than a good player for the league because of his low finishing - stick him in a quality CL team and he'll get lost - I have lots of players like this: defenders with only 12/13 for heading/tackling/marking, for example.
The rest of the players are going to struggle to be anything more than 2nd tier quality, unfortunately.
I've not been blessed with any kind of regularity of intakes - yes, we've had Forsdal and Doumbia in the past couple of years, but I've taken one from this intake and I completely discarded everyone from a couple of years back. Maybe I need to have a deeper think about who and what influences my intake and seeing where I can go. I have a good Head of Youth Development but my U19 staff are quite depleted as I use my 2 team for development players. I know that I picked up a star in my Vienna save (American lad called Krammer) because I had a good U19 American coach (who was an ex player) and he shared a lot of the same playing attributes and style.
To go with my intake, I picked up three lads from Oslo City - the club famous for its dual nationality players. No idea how good they'll be - but they'll play 2 team football:
Kevin Boukaka (Norwegian/Congolese)
Tesfaye Yordanos (Ethiopian/Norwegian)
Solomon Zeregebar (Norwegian/Eritrean)
Onwards to the season ahead, and a crunch tie in the Ukraine first...