HAVING been appointed head of coaching at Burton Albion’s Academy, Sam Rose will be looking to ensure young talent continues moving up the Brewers ranks.
Clubs like Crewe have set the bar for producing a string of young talent for the first team and Sam will be working to build on the framework in place at Burton Albion to achieve similar outcomes into the future.
Sam says: “Particular youth development programmes are successful because they have the right philosophy and have the mentality that boys coming through will have an opportunity to make the first team. We are keen for our boys to continue to come through but we have to make sure they are the right standard.
“We are a small operation in terms of some other clubs but we are good at what we do. Burton Albion is a fantastic club and to have seen players come through to the first team in the short time we have been operating is a great achievement by all involved.”
Sam has been with the club since the foundation of the centre of excellence, initially in a part-time role with the under 12 age group, before moving to a full-time position with 9-11s, overseeing what would become the foundation phase of the Academy.
He says: “I moved into working with the under 18s as an assistant coach and with Mark Sale when he was at the club working with the development group - which was a great experience. I have been here since the 2010/11 season and have worked across the age groups.
“I have been lucky enough to work with all the young pros who have come through, including Matty Palmer and Liam Slade, and it has been great to have been involved in that pathway for these players.
“It’s really pleasing for me that I have worked across the entire framework and all the age groups and therefore being familiar with all the boys. Having experience across the breadth of the Academy environment, I’m pleased to now be able to increase my involvement overall.”
On a day-to-day basis, Sam will be developing the under 18s and monitoring the 15 and 16-year olds coming into the scholarship programme, working with the Academy manager Mike Whitlow.
“I will also oversee the sevens to 16s programme, making sure there is a framework in place that allows the boys to develop and which gives them the right opportunities and making sure there is a cohesive approach so that the boys are ultimately of the required standard to receive a scholarship and come into the under 18s.
“A big part of it is also to bring the players up to speed so that they can eventually gain a first team contract. It’s a difficult thing to get boys into that group. They have to reach a League One standard. They have to be at that level so the first team manager can give them that opportunity. That’s ultimately why we run the under sevens upwards to produce the players of the future. We want more to come through.
“There are some very talented players right through the age groups and there have been, to date, nine boys in five seasons who have made the step up to getting a professional contract, but then there is a further step up in terms of getting a place in the starting eleven, it's a continuing and long term process. My job is to put the framework in place to support that.
“I have had some brief conversations at this point with David Oldfield (Brewers assistant manager) as to what they need. We have to match the under 18s with what the first team expect. Reserve games give them a chance to mix with the pros and we need to develop links so it’s not a massive jump to the first team but a smooth transition. Providing continuity and opportunity to those players that show potential is an important part of my role.”