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Morling: Academy youngsters are adaptable and will catch up

Academy Manager John Morling on the challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 shutdown.

By Bruce Talbot • 01 June 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Academy Manager John Morling.

John Morling has revealed some of the innovative ways young players in the club’s Academy have kept themselves occupied during the lockdown.

And the club’s Academy manager believes it won’t take them long to back up to speed once they return to regular training.

“I have seen some great stuff,” he said. “I watched a video of one of the under-12s DJ-ing which was brilliant. Another playing guitar, someone doing skateboarding, card tricks. people doing funny accents – when you watch them it’s brilliant to see.

“And when we collated them and showed parents what everyone has done, without a doubt it has brought a smile to people’s faces.

“We have tried to keep everything positive because some families are finding it hard for lots of different reasons at the moment.”

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Press Conference: Barber and Morling

None of Albion’s age group teams from the under-23s down have played competitively since mid-March and there is no definite date yet for an organised return to training, although Academy players have doing fitness sessions at home and are in regular contact with their coaches.

“Not being able to train as a team has been tough, but they’ve still been able to train to a point and kids are so adaptable, in a few months they will catch up,” added Morling.

“I don’t see there being too much of an issue with that. It’s the wider impact the pandemic is going to have, whether it be health, wellbeing or financial that we will have to look at. That will have a bigger effect than catching up on three or four months of technical stuff.

“Our psychology and welfare departments have operated as normal throughout this. There are some families who have needed that extra bit of help and that has been able to continue. We are fortunate that [club owner] Tony Bloom and the board are allowing us to provide as much help as we can for the kids at a difficult time.”

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