Date:Thursday January 24 2008
14 year old Andre Wisdom has left Valley Parade to move to Anfield in a dream move that testifies to the burgeoning success of the Youth setup under Peter Horne. Indeed, coming in the same week as the under-13s returned victorious from the USA after scoring 21 goals in four games there are many reasons to be cheerful about the future of Bradford City Football Club.
Liverpool have paid an undisclosed fee for the promising youngster with Peter Horne telling the Telegraph & Argus that 'there's not another club in this division that has had the compensation for youth players that we've received' and the paper suggests that alongside the up-front payment, there are further substantial amounts linked to his progress.
Plucked from local junior football by Peter Horne the man masterminding City's youth said 'he has just progressed all the time he's been with us.
We've played him a year up all the time because of his ability. He was playing with the under-15s this season.
We're very pleased with how far he's come and wish him all the best with this fantastic opportunity.'
And apparently he's not the only one attracting covetous gazes from football's top table as another Premiership side sniff around the fruits of the Valley Parade production line. Horne continued 'it's brilliant that what we're doing here is being recognised by clubs at higher levels.'
In the pre-season fan's forum, joint-chairman Mark Lawn had drawn attention to the need for the youth structure to be self-funding as it had been a substantial drain on resources in the previous twelve months but clearly the faith being put into the development of our youth by the club (and by all the subscribers to the 'Big One' lottery) is beginning to pay off.
The joint-chairman said 'it's evidence that we've started to produce good youth. This time three years ago it wouldn't have happened, so we must be doing something right.
Clubs are looking round all over for talent and they've seen what we are producing here.
Andre wanted to move on and it's a great chance for the lad, so we couldn't hold him back, but if he doesn't make it at Liverpool he's said he will return.'
At 14 Andre Wisdom is not that much younger than Theo Walcott was when he initially burst onto our radars at Southampton. Should the youngster progress then maybe he will get his chance alongside Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher before their retirement beckons...
Good Luck Andre and well done City!
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Date:Thursday January 24 2008
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