Hill Demands Culture Change from Bolton Prospects

  • October 04, 2019 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/54826

Keith Hill has given a damning assessment of Bolton's youth system, saying the 'culture' at the training ground has got to change.

Wanderers recently fielded their youngest-ever team when a squad with an average age of under 19 held Coventry City to a goalless draw at the University of Bolton Stadium back in August, although that record was soon broken in a Leasing.com Trophy tie against Bradford City.

Despite making history with those team selections - under the guidance of Phil Parkinson and latterly Jimmy Phillips - Hill has demanded more from his academy prospects, admitting players need to break into first-team level during their teenage years to have a realistic hope of forging a successful career for themselves.

"I need to see more from the young players," Hill told OfficialBWFC on YouTube. "The culture has got to change.

"I'm in at 7 o'clock and I expect some of the younger players to have the same mentality - to work hard and be more demanding on themselves.

"They need to create an opportunity. I don't give things out - I'm not a charity.

"The players have to earn the opportunity. Attitude reflects leadership. Their application has got to be better.

"Standards in and around the training ground from the young players have to be more respectful of the environment that they're in.

"We're in a footballing industry. It doesn't start when you're 23. It starts when you're 16, or when you're 14.

"If you're a 14-year-old in my academy, you've got a chance of playing and being fast tracked. Show me where you are.

"I love great attitudes. When I've got a great attitude, I can work with a talented football player.

"If you're 23 and haven't even made 10 appearances in the Championship or League One, that's a red flag or an alarm bell to me as a manager.

"Coming into an environment where that's the case doesn't fit in with my criteria. Young players at 17 or 18, I can guide. At 23, you might be fixed in the way that you do things and that's hard to change.

"23-year-olds aren't young players to me. They should be established with 100 league games under their belt. That's where we need to get.

"My mentality of this football club is to change the way that we do things, with respect to bringing and guiding young players through."

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