Callum McManaman of Wigan Athletic beats Jens Lehman of Arsenal on his way to scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier Reserve League match between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal.
You may have heard during the week that former Latics Legend Matt Jackson has taken the role as head of the youth centre of excellence at the club. It was a big move for both man and club, and has started to signal the changes in the youth system that the club have had long in the pipeline.
From day one Roberto Martinez has wanted to push forward the plans to develop and reshape the youth system, into one in which we can produce elite players to rival the best in the country. To, in actual fact, make ourselves sustainable for the foreseeable future.
Today was another stepped up, as the club applied for category two status tin youth development. This will slowly but surely see the club move away from the centre of excellence policy that the club run, into a full fledged youth academy in the not too distant future (category one status), with independent youth facilities.
Exciting news for the club, and big steps in the right direction. With a more hands on approach to football at early stages in a players development, the system will impose Martinez's philosophy at a younger age, while allowing players to compete against academy's from across the country.