Date: 7th May 2012 at 9:52am
Written by:

Vital Latics are very pleased to announce that the site will be taking a close look at the WADS, the youth team and also monitoring the players that we send out on loan from the start of next season

Vital member wigdean approached me with this great idea and I am really looking forward to this new feature becoming established on Vital Latics

So here is a taster as wigdean looks back at 2011/12, over to you wigdean:

From next season I’ll be looking to bring you a weekly feature on the Wigan Athletic development squad and youth team. For now, here’s a look back on the 2011/2012 season…

This season, more than ever, has seen players depart the DW Stadium on loan to gain vital experience at clubs both in England and Scotland. We’ve had seven players leave the club on loan this season which would have been unheard of before Roberto Martinez arrived as manager.

With that in mind, we’ll look at how each player has fared away from the DW:

Callum McManaman (Blackpool) – (9 starts, 5 sub appearances, 2 goals)
Roman Golobart (Inverness) – (21 starts, 4 sub appearances, 2 goals)
Jordan Mustoe (Barnet) – (15 starts, 4 sub appearances)
Danny Redmond (Hamilton) – (19 starts, 5 goals)
Nouah Dicko (Blackpool) – (4 starts, 10 sub appearances, 4 goals)
Lee Nicholls (Accrington Stanley) – (9 starts)
Rob Kiernan (Accrington Stanley) – (3 starts – injury ended loan)

Rob Kiernan and his unfortunate injury aside, all the loan periods for our players have been a success. Unfortunately Kiernan suffered an ankle ligament injury that ended his season and meant surgery was required. He should be fit and ready for pre-season.

Nouah Dicko whilst making the majority of his appearances from the bench, has been given rave reviews by Blackpool manager Ian Holloway. He has helped Blackpool to the Championship play-offs and the experience will be vital for his development.

McManaman came back from his own loan spell at Blackpool, where he also earned good reviews, to take a place on the bench for the first team. He’s been unfortunate not to feature more in the Premier League since returning but Roberto Martinez has indicated this is due to our league position rather than the ability of McManaman.

Lee Nicholls and Jordan Mustoe have both been out to League Two and enjoyed plenty of game time. Nicholls has helped Accrington to a mid-table finish and continued building his growing reputation as a potential future England goalkeeper, whilst Mustoe left one relegation battle to join another at Barnet. Mustoe played a massive part in helping them stay up and the Barnet fans expect big things of him. He’s probably been the least talked about of the seven players but his fine form cannot be ignored.

Finally Roman Golobart and Danny Redmond both headed for Scotland and were arguably the two stand out players we sent out on loan. Golobart recovered from a shaky start to become something of a rock at the heart of the ICT defence. His run in the first team was interrupted by injury but he stepped back into the side and continued his rapid progress. It’s always a good sign of a successful loan if the clubs fans are disappointed to be losing the player and ICT fans definitely want to see Golobart back next season.

To catch up on Danny Redmond I spoke to the guys at Accies World to get their thoughts.

Many thanks to the guys over at Accies World who were kind enough to offer their thoughts on the performances and potential of Danny Redmond:

Tubbs – Clearly talented with the ball and always gives 100%. Capable of some great passes. For me his impact on the game is not as much as his talent would suggest, although like lots of Accies players he has been asked to do a variety of roles. He is also a wee midfieler and we have a few of them so he may well benefit from playing in a more physically capable team.
Well short of EPL, another loan spell is required for him and i would be happy if it was with us.

Patrick Bateman – One of the bright spots of our season. Great range of passing, and has scored some wonderful goals. Preferably needs a big physical player alongside him to win the ball, although he does get stuck in for a wee guy. Good commitment and never hides.
Would really like to see him stay for another season at least.

Donald Anderson – Danny’s been basically pretty good, occasionally outstanding. Helluva free kick on him as Partick found out today! Agree with Tubbs – we chop and change the team a lot, which can be pretty demanding, but there haven’t been many games where Redmond has been out of sorts. Would like another year with him too.

Compost Corner – Danny’s an excellent player – I’d say he’s my player of the season – can we have him for one more year? (If he was taller he’d be a regular at Wigan).

Goldenking75 – I think he is a great wee player in the scottish 1st Division and has been fantastic for accies although I dont quite think he is physically ready for the premiership.Like others have said I think it would be best for the player and wigan that he stay at accies for another season to further develop his skills and get more experience of 1st team football.

Username – He’ll likely end up on loan somewhere better next season, but given half a chance it’d be great to have him back.

Rubenthedog – Great Player, box to box midfielder, not frightened to put in a tackle. Good set piece delivery and cracking shot. Just wish he was a couple of inches taller. Would love to have him back for another season.

Rincewind – Excellent player! No, wait a minute, he’s crap!

Ally-L – If your article is purely for fans, he’s a cracking player, who could still develop further. If any of your clubs officials are likely to read it, then he’s middling at best and has probably found his level in the SFL1, particularly with Accies, and so is as well coming back for another year or so.

NedSmanks – Dare I say he is almost Scholes-esque. Doesn’t let his diminutive size effect him, I thought he would be too small to survive the rough and tumble of the Scottish First Division, but its not the size of the man in the fight as they say.
Neat and tidy in possession, but also plays positively, added a bit of forward direction to our midfield at a time when we tended to play backwards and sideways. Cracking set piece and shot, off both feet as he showed with his cracking right foot drive for his goal v Ayr.

Hamilton 1 – Brilliant on the ball. Cracking shot and pass and is capable of scoring a free kick. Has bags of potential but not ready for the EPL just yet. Hes got the ability but just not physically ready. Has been a breath of fresh air since joining. Scored a few screamers in his time here.

Danny Redmond made a big impression with Hamilton

By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic

This year has also seen youth team and development stars Tim Chow and Rakish Bingham sign professional contracts with the club. Both players are highly thought of and it will be interesting to see how both players continue their development next season.

A number of young professionals have also had their contracts extended. We are still awaiting the details of this but the likes of Adam Dawson, Ryan Watson, Jamie McCormack, Callum Morris and Adam Buxton have signed extensions.

Moving away from the players and focusing on the teams themselves, it’s been something of a ‘growing’ season for the development squad and youth team. Earlier this season saw the departure of Dave Watson as the youth team coach, with Roberto Martinez bringing in former player John Doolan as replacement.

The youth team play in the FL Youth Alliance North West Conference against the likes of Preston, Morecambe and Stockport County. The team ended the season in 12th place (from 17 teams) after a poor start losing 4 games on the bounce. They were also knocked out of the FA Youth Cup at the 4th round stage after suffering a disappointing 9-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest.

The Wigan Athletic Development Squad currently play in the Barclays Premier Reserve League North. This season Graham Barrow has called up more of the young professionals at the club and given reserve team debuts to a number of players. The side has finished 6th (from 8 teams) in the Northern group facing the likes of Man United, Liverpool and Everton.

Teams from both the Northern and Southern groups do play each other however, and as a result if the tables were combined the WADS would have found themselves in 11th place (from 18 teams). The WADS also suffered defeat in the LFA Senior Cup, unfortunately losing out on penalties in the semi final to Accrington Stanley.

With the growing amount of young players being kept on at the club and with the likes of McManaman pushing for a start, it should be a very interesting 2012/2013 season.

On a final note – anyone interested in contributing to this feature next season, or if you have any ideas/suggestions, please contact me on the Vital Wigan forum.


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