Gary Brazil was one of my favourite players when I was younger. In terms of talent, he stood out a mile ahead of anyone else in the Fulham side. He copped a fair bit of flak, most of undeserved in my opinion, as he gave his all for the team. I was delighted to see him join the coaching staff and he’s made a real impact as the coach of the Academy.
Brazil has praised two of the Academy’s most recent graduates – defender Joe Anderson and midfielder Matthew Saunders – for getting close to Roy Hodgson’s first-team squad. He also acknowledges that Fulham have yet to produce the number of first-team players that the investment in the Academy programme probably deserves but believes the coaching process is the right one.
It’s been lovely to see Joe Anderson getting close to Roy’s team and Matthew Saunders also being close to it. There have been a few boys that are coming through the system who have been on the bench and it’s encouraging for us because that is what the Academy is for – producing players for the First Team.
It’s great that some of the boys are getting a sniff of the First Team and they’re travelling to Europe but it’s important not to sit back. They’re not there yet and it’s preparation for hopefully one-day playing football at some level. If we can’t provide First Team players for this club we’ve got to make sure these boys get a career out of the game.
From our point of view we’ve got to be sure what we’re doing is correct and we’re teaching the boys correctly which we believe we are. I genuinely believe we’ll get success.