Former Blade Travis Binnion has outlined his blueprint for the future after being unveiled as the new head of Sheffield United’s Academy.
Binnion, the former United youngster, will replace Nick Cox, who has been headhunted by Manchester United.
United’s U21s and U18s have both enjoyed successful campaigns - the U21s joined their younger counterparts in their respective national final after an extra-time victory at Charlton yesterday - and Binnion hopes to continue the good work into the future at United’s SteelPhalt Academy base in Shirecliffe.
“The U18s and U21s have had fantastic seasons,” Binnion said.
“We’re obviously mindful that we’re here for one reason, to produce players for the first team, but winning games is never a bad habit to be in.
“The players have done superbly - Aaron Ramsdale has had international recognition with England, Shea Gordon has been involved with Northern Ireland and a few others have been close, not forgetting the likes of Louis Reed too.
“We’re well aware of what our job is, and that’s to make sure that the young players are ready to deliver when needed. We’re not naive enough, either, to think that because they’ve been with us since they were nine years old, they have the right to play for the first team. They’ve got to earn the chance, and deliver when it comes.
“We’re accountable for that. I think our young players are the best in the area, they will keep getting better and so will we. We’ll work hard to make sure that happens.”
Diego De Girolamo scored both United’s goals at The Valley, while Reed, Ben Whiteman and David Brooks have all enjoyed a taste of senior football with Nigel Adkins’ squad this season.
Kevin McCabe, United’s co-chairman, announced Binnion’s appointment at a fans’ forum with season-ticket holders at Bramall Lane.
“Travis has a fantastic reputation,” McCabe said.
“He’s a young man known well at many clubs. We’re sad to see Nick go but we have a good replacement in Travis. He’s only a young man but has a lot of experience and broad shoulders, and a desire to make us better than we already are.”