Squad Limits? No problem . . .

The continual production of young players from West Ham’s Academy of Football means that the squad cap established by the Premier League for the 2010/2011 season has had little to no effect on the club’s transfer dealings.  New rules in place for the upcoming season limit teams to a 25 man pool of players at least 21 years old, with 8 players in the squad having to be “Homegrown,” or developed by English or Welsh squads for 3 years prior to them turning 21 years old.  However, the rules reward teams for having players under 21 years of age on the squad list, as none of these players would count towards the squad limit.  For a team such as West Ham, which has a large contingent of U-21’s contributing at the senior team level, this provides more flexibility when bringing in either foreign or more experienced players.  Even last year, the team received substantial contributions from young players like Junior Stanislas, Fabio Daprela, James Tomkins, Frank Nouble, and Freddie Sears, none of whom would count towards the squad limit.  Teams like Manchester City made big splashes in the transfer market during the summer window, but a downside to bringing in such high profile players is that they would have to release a large number of their existing squad.  A story appearing on ESPN’s Soccernet today shows that City would have to sell or release 12 players from the current squad, should any of those players want to receive playing time until the transfer window opens again in December.  The new regulations are meant to increase the amount of spots open to English players, and speed up the development of the next generation of English footballers.  It’s a good thing that West Ham has been producing young, homegrown talent during the history of the Academy, so such regulations will not limit the club’s future plans.

A breakdown of the current squad (from the squad list on the official site) :

U-21’s (born after January 1, 1989):   9 players

Junior Stanislas

Jordan Spence

Anthony Edgar

Oliver Lee

Fabio Daprela

James Tomkins

Marek Stech

Frank Nouble

Freddie Sears

Homegrown Players:  9 players

Robert Green

Danny Gabbidon

Kieron Dyer

Scott Parker

Carlton Cole

Matthew Upson

Mark Noble

Jack Collison

Zavon Hines

Of the 30 players listed on the first team squad, the 9 U-21’s do not count towards the limit.  Nine of the remaining 21 players are considered homegrown, and the team is still left with the option to add four more players of at least 21 years of age.  Even if one of the homegrown players is lost, whether to injury or other circumstances, West Ham would still be able to use one of their U-21’s to compensate for homegrown purposes.

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~ by ar_sage on July 26, 2010.

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