Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk will give opportunities to young talent
Garry Monk has hailed the 'fantastic achievement' of Hartlepool teenager Harry Chapman in clinching gold at the Under 20 World Cup.
Monk has just inherited two world champions in attacking talent Chapman and defender Dale Fry after taking charge of Middlesbrough.
The Boro youngsters were unused subs at the weekend in Korea where England beat Venezuela 1-0.
Monk said: “I watched the tournament all the way through and the win for England is a fantastic achievement for the players and I’m sure they and their families and everyone at the club will be very proud of them.
“It’s great for this club, it shows the strength of this academy and how much talent there is here.
“I will be working primarily with the first team squad but we have young talent here and that is always a benefit for the club and for the manager.”
Monk, while full of genuine congratulations, chose his words carefully - he stopped short of saying the players will have an instant first-team future.
But the 38-year-old said he had a track record of promoting young players and worked on the adage ‘if you are good enough you are old enough’.
“I’ve shown at both Swansea and Leeds that I give young players opportunities, I will bring players into the first-team environment,” he said.
“It’s about them being good enough and being ready to come in.
“If I feel they deserve the opportunity, then they will get it.”
Chapman, who signed his first pro contract with Boro, aged just in January 2015, starred for the club’s youth team during the 2015–16 UEFA Youth League.
He enjoyed a productive loan spell in 2016 at League One side Barnsley, culminating in a Wembley appearance as the Tykes won the Football League Trophy.
The then Boro boss, Aitor Karanka, used the teenager in pre-season last summer before loaning him out to Leagie One again, this time to Sheffield United.
Chapman had a great time on loan at Sheffield United, winning a championship medal with the Blades.
His form won the 19-year-old a place in Paul Simpson’s squad in South Korea at the Under 20 World Cup.
The former Dyke House Sports & Technology College student did not leave the subs bench in the knock-out rounds though it was always going to be difficult given England were winning all the time.
Chapman’s only appearance was a 10-minute sub stint against Guinea in the group.
But he will also hope success with the Young Lions gives him a springboard to clinch a place in Boro’s squad in the Sky Bet Championship next season.