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21.08.2009 13:06

Faith in youth policy

Pau Ramírez

The first team players are delighted to see that Guardiola is taking such an interest in giving chances to players developed as part of the club’s youth structure.

When Barça won the Champions League in Rome with no fewer than seven players that had learned their trade at the club (Valdés, Puyol, Piqué, Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets and Messi), the world could see just what a fine youth policy there is at FCB. This preseason has once again shown how many bright prospects there are waiting in the wings at the club.

Prepared for the big time

20090819_M3_0251.jpg"We are surprised because we didn’t know them, but they are coming on very well. They are well prepared youngsters, all of them can play well, and if the coach gives them chances it’s because they’re ready for it ", said Xavi. “We were given our chances in our day because our coaches had faith in us and we made the most of those opportunities, and now here’s another manager who also has faith in the youngsters ".

2009-08-20_PRENSA_PIQUE_01.jpgJosep Guardiola used a young team in the Gamper, and although they lost to a well versed Manchester City, they never let their heads down and showed they can cope with the best.

Another former club youth player is Gerard Piqué, who has noted “lots of quality. The club is working hard with its youth players and the first team is fed by this ".

Guardiola, the key

2009-08-13_ENTRENAMIENTO_026.JPGEver since he took his job, Josep Guardiola has shown constant interest in developing youth players. One of these is Pedro, who says the reserves "are playing very well, are very enthusiastic and are winning the boss’s confidence … Guardiola always helps us and makes sure we are relaxed when we go onto the pitch, and that shows during and after the game ".

Last season, Guardiola handed first team debuts to Pedro, Oier, Jeffren, Abraham, Botía, Fontàs, Thiago, Torres and Muniesa, and this year has picked out other possible future stars. On Wednesday, Camp Nou debuts were given to Fontàs, Montoya, Bartra, Gai Assulin and Jonathan Dos Santos, while Rueda, Dalmau, Rochina, Espasandín and Oriol all got run outs while the squad was in London.
Faith in youth policy
Six debutantes at Camp Nou
There were six new faces on the Camp Nou pitch against Manchester City. Fontàs, Montoya, Bartra, Gai Assulin and Jonathan Dos Santos were all making their first ever appearances in the stadium. And although Barça surrendered the Joan Gamper trophy with a 1-0 defeat, all six managed to impress and were not intimidated by the experience of playing in front of more than 94,000 people.

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