Robinson suffers a cruel blow

There is nothing as frustrating for young footballers as sitting on the sidelines, injured, while your team-mates are doing well, writes David Vincent.

There is nothing as frustrating for young footballers as sitting on the sidelines, injured, while your team-mates are doing well, writes David Vincent.

So spare a thought for young striker Matt Robinson, who fractured his fibia in Saturday's FA Premier Academy win at Bristol City.

Robinson, a speedy two-footed player who also takes most of the corners when he is in the team, now has his foot in plaster and will be out of action for several weeks, effectively missing the rest of the season.

And this comes at a crucial time for him when first-team calls and injuries have given academy players like him a chance to make their mark in reserve-team football.


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There are two academy games this week – an Under-19 fixture against Charlton Athletic today, which has been brought forward a day, at 2 pm – and then a game against Newcastle United at Under-17 level tomorrow (11am kick-off).

Last Saturday's winning goal came from Lee Beevers, who headed home Gerard O'Connor's corner. The U17s shared a 3-3 draw at Fulham with goals from Craig Reid and Daniel Flack (2).

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Sunday was a proud day for the academy with four current academy players involved in that thrilling 2-0 win over Norwich City.

A number of teenage players will be unavailable for their normal age groups this weekend following the first-team's visit to Wolves on Wednesday and with a first-team game against Stoke City tomorrow.

At least with the U19s and U17s playing on different days, the substitutes for one game will be able to be involved in the other.

But, as Dean Bowditch has shown, rapid progress towards the first team can come for first-year scholars. For those still at school he is a tremendous target to follow.

It is a busy weekend all around for the academy with other age group games against West Ham United on Sunday.

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