Johnny Cantor: Brighton's hungry young Irish duo are chasing the Premier League dream
I'm sure those Brighton and Hove Albion supporters who went to both matches at AFC Bournemouth will be delighted to be back at the Amex this weekend.
Two defeats by a one goal margin in both league and cup is always hard to take. However, there were positives to take from the performances of Tim Krul, Ezequiel Schelotto and in particular two young Irish midfielders Dessie Hutchinson and Jayson Molumby.
The pair, both from the same County Waterford in Ireland, are progressing through the club’s academy. Not only was Jayson charming when I spoke to him after the match but he and his good friend equipped themselves very well on the pitch, in normal and extra time!
In both the interview and against the Cherries, Molumby was calm and composed but also had a warm confidence.
In a week when Huddersfield are reportedly considering the closure of their academy and adopting a different approach, the emergence of young players has been in sharp focus. The Yorkshire club say it costs a million pounds to run and players are not breaking into the first team.
A similar figure if not more must apply to the academy at the Elite Performance Centre in Lancing. So what is the best policy? Well, only time will tell.
Brentford changed their set-up but Tony Bloom has made a huge investment in the future. Some ex pros believe the young talent is molly coddled nowadays and they may be right in some instances but speaking to Molumby and seeing Hutchinson in action you can see a couple of devoted and talented players breaking into the squad for cup competitions.
There are several levels to the system and to the arguments that surround it. This season players like Nathaniel Chalobah, Dominic Solanke and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have left Chelsea in pursuit of first team action on permanent deals.
Of course they may have helped fill the required quota for the champions in recent years but it is good to see them leave to chase top flight football rather than sit on their wages. One day their decision may yet benefit the national team.
The debate around young footballers and emerging talent is so nuanced it’s impossible to assess completely in 500 words but as someone who watches the game regularly it is great to see hungry young talent like Molumby and Hutchinson rewarded with the opportunity as they chase the dream of becoming a Premier League player.
They say talent always shines through. I’m not sure that always happens though. There are countless individuals who have never made it despite natural ability.
It may not matter how you get there as long as you do but for some of those fortunate enough to be adopted in the academy system they may yet go on to play for the club and the club may yet achieve more success as a result.