Often Partisan

Loan reports

With it being international week, I thought I’d use the break in Birmingham City’s hectic schedule to look at home some of our younger players are getting on out on loan.

Jack Butland is currently on a youth loan to Cheltenham Town on a month to month basis (much the same as Chris Wood is to Blues). On joining the Robins he went straight into the first team, displacing former first choice Scott Brown who had made over a hundred consecutive starts prior to Butland joining Cheltenham.

From reading the Robins fans’ forums, it seems young Jack has settled in well. In his five league appearances he’s been pretty solid, with fairly consistent 7s from the fans on their messageboards, and he’s kept two clean sheets. There is a lot of praise for the Bristolian lad’s handling and distribution. He missed last night’s 3-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers in the Johnstones Paint Trophy as he has joined Stuart Pearce’s young Lions for their match against Iceland in Reykjavik.

I must admit from what I saw last year, I didn’t think then that young Butland was quite ready for first team football at Blues, and I suspect he isn’t now. However, it has to be said that regular football at Whaddon Road, coupled with a couple of days training a week at Wast Hills with Dave Watson will probably do him the world of good.

Another young Blue out on loan is Telford-born striker Jake Jervis, who is strutting his stuff for Paolo di Canio’s Swindon Town. Having made his debut at the weekend, coming on for the last half hour of their away defeat to Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose, Jake got given a start in the JPT tie down in Exeter and repaid the faith shown in him with a first half brace against former Blues keeper Artur Krysiak. The first was apparently a decent volley from close in, while the second came about when Jervis robbed the aforementioned Krysiak of possession before tucking the ball home.

I will freely admit right now that I don’t believe Jervis will ever be good enough for Blues; he is only contracted until the end of the season and I can’t see it being renewed barring a miraculous run of games in the first team. Still, it would be good for the lad to get a few games in League two and maybe get himself fixed up with a permanent deal to continue his pro career.

Loans are funny things; barring Jordon Mutch has any young player Blues have loaned out for any length of time actually made it into the first team? I’m aware that most young players won’t make it but it does seem most loans are preludes to moving a young player on down the football pyramid. With Jack Butland having signed a long term deal recently I think he’ll be the one to buck the trend – hopefully his stay at Cheltenham will help continue his footballing education.

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7 Responses to “Loan reports”

  • Bazzathebluenose says:

    I think it is very difficult for young players to break into first team reckoning in the Premier League and Championship levels. I take the view that you never know whether a player is good enough unless you give them a chance and Jervis hasn’t really been given an opportunity at Blues has he? In these risk averse times it is always unlikely but what is wrong with giving a young player like him a run in the team say bringing him on with 15 minutes left when we are either winning comfortably or the game is lost and there is little hope of recovery on that particular day? It’s a low risk strategy and if he impresses give him a little more pitch time in subsequent matches. Once you have a portfolio of a dozen sub appearences then you have a clearer idea about whether the player has what it takes or not. I think loans to lower league clubs are fine to a point but if you keep repeating it the player becomes just that; a lower league player. There is only so much improving a player can derive from spells at teams like Swindon. As the article suggests we have seen so many of our promising youngsters wind up in the lower reaches of the football league. It means that we aren’t attracting talent, our academy scheme is not fit for purpose or players are being ruined by present policies. It has to be said that the output from our academy system in recent years has been lamentable. Investment in this area of any club has to be money well spent in the longer term if you produce a continuing stream of talent for your first team.

  • mark says:

    What about Andy Johnson…………………………

  • AR says:

    almajir, would you give your views on why our Academy (or whatever it used to be called) produces so few players for the first team. Is it through lack of money (& therefore no real enthusiasm for it from the various Boards), poor facilities, lack of scouts, poor coaching, lack of incentives for young players (or their parents) or what? Coventry City seem to attract youngsters & certainly Leeds United used to, even producing a very good four-colour brochure. How did we attract Francis, the 2 Latchfords & Burns? I believe Jordan Mutch only came because our previous man in charge had been at Derby with him. And why did this guy leave? Would appreciate what you have to say (as always).

    • almajir says:

      I think the Blues academy suffered from it’s previous disbandment; it takes a long time to build up the pipeline of promising players and I think we’re just getting to the cusp of doing that now.

      I’m not sure as to why Terry Westley left, but I don’t believe it could be too bad a reason as his son Sam is still playing for the academy.

  • mark says:

    I have made comments before that I believe butland will be the next birmingham city goalkeeper and will eventually play for England national team, and it good for birmingham city that their youth players are gaining experience in other enviroments (it all about game time) . We let AJ go why ( What a goal machine he turned out to be… And still knocking them in for fulham . Hopefully THIS MANAGER WILL give chances to these players , ……… WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT.KRO …I don’t think many blues fans would disagree, it nothing better watching homegrown talent given the opportunity to rise to the occasion………

  • Mark says:

    Furthermore, hopefully Jervis can do what wood’s is doing for us for swindon under their manager and build on his football education, only game time will help with this……………..

  • jazzzy786 says:

    The youngsters out on loan are doing a great job I’m quite excited by young Butland who had a solid game for the England u-21s yesterday. Jervis needs game time for him to develop . I think its too early for you to write him off just yet.


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