'You will get an opportunity quicker than at Newcastle or Sunderland': Jonathan Woodgate's message to North East youngsters
Jonathan Woodgate has once again praised Middlesbrough’s academy staff for helping promote the club’s young talent this season.
A total of seven academy graduates have made their first league appearances for Boro this term, with many establishing themselves as first-team regulars at the Riverside.
Hayden Coulson, Aynsley Pears, Djed Spence, Stephen Walker, Nathan Wood, Ben Liddle and Tyrone O’Neill have all featured for the senior side this campaign, with Woodgate keen to promote more players through the system.
“If you look at some of the lads who have stepped up this season. Marcus Tavernier has started the most games that he’s started in a season, so has Coulson, so has Djed Spence, so has Aynsley Pears at first-team level,” said Woodgate when asked about his younger players.
“Long may it continue because the lads are doing well and full credit to the academy staff for bringing these lads through.”
Woodgate also urged young players in the area to take note of Boro’s success, especially compared to North East neighbours Newcastle and Sunderland.
“If you look at how many players come through the Newcastle system or the Sunderland system compared to the Middlesbrough system, I think we are out on our own aren’t we,” added Woodgate.
“If kids in the North East are looking to get an opportunity, why wouldn’t you come to Middlesbrough, you are going to get an opportunity quicker than you are at Newcastle or Sunderland.”