Charlie Webster: Keeping the kids is key to our success

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It was nice to see such a full house at Bramall Lane this week for the FA Youth Cup. I was gutted that I couldn’t be there but presenting Sky Sports News and reporting the goal highlights was the next best thing.

It was nice to see such a full house at Bramall Lane this week for the FA Youth Cup. I was gutted that I couldn’t be there but presenting Sky Sports News and reporting the goal highlights was the next best thing.

I spent my time in the commercial breaks, though, defending our club and the fans. The question was why did all the fans turn out for the success of the youngsters but not for our struggling senior team? I’ll leave that question open.

On the positive side, if the youth of Sheffield United’s performance against Manchester United is anything to go by the dark times of the recent season will be a thing of the past.

To translate it through our club all we’ve got to do is hold on to some of these players rather than selling them at the first sign of a bit of cash.

As I said in my column last week, referring to management and investment, please don’t sell the kids. The whole point of the academy is to hold on to our own and develop talent to benefit our club long term.

To be fair, it’d be a really poor sign to us fans and the young players that are pushing for a firs- team place to let the pound signs rule. Bringing up from the inside of the club is the key; you only have to look at Manchester United, both Nevilles, Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, all home-grown, incredible talent. Plus it saves an absolute fortune in transfer fees.

The likes of Jordan Slew and Harry Maguire are key to Sheffield United’s future. Both have bags of potential. At just 18 years old, they both have already shown signs of the intellect and confidence that is needed to push their football to the next level. We should be seeing the likes of Maguire featuring more and more in the Blades’ push to get out of League One next season.

We have a lot to look forward to even though it’s in a league we all wish we weren’t in. Plus the talk of signing both Wes Thomas and Steven Bennett isn’t a bad shout at all.

I had a Bournemouth supporter banging on about how difficult it was to get out of the third tier and now we’re in we won’t be getting out straight away. As you can well imagine it got a little heated!