Quin: “We Want To Get Players In The First Team”
By Kevin Affleck
Head of Academy Barry Quin said the decision to hand teenage defender George Langston a professional contract is a further sign of the club's desire to hand out contracts to the players that have the potential to one day meet the high standards set by the first team.
Langston, 17, penned a contract until the summer of 2022 last week and joins the likes of Ryan Cassidy, Daniel Phillips, Lewis Gordon, Jayden Bennetts, Harry Forster and Michael Folivi in players who have recently graduated from the Academy to sign pro terms.
“George is a classic case of a player who has demonstrated all the things we are looking for,” said Quin. “Will he go on to be top player? I don't know and I'd defy anybody to say that they do know. But what it does show is we are more than willing to give out professional contracts at the right time. It's not something players just get because they have been here for a while. We look to reward people who show signs of what we are looking for.”
Quin admitted the quality of the first team, which is packed with internationals, makes winning a contract at the club even harder and means the criteria is even more stringent.
“The bar has been raised,” said Quin. “It's as simple as that. We got to the Premier League relatively quickly and the Academy struggled to catch up. Now we are getting the support we need to bridge that gap. We have furnished quite a few EFL clubs with players who are having a good career. We have done our job from that aspect, but we are looking longer term now and want to get players in the first team. That's the case for the future.”
Langston has set his sights on making the step up from the Academy to the first team, and Quin definitely sees something in the former Kings Langley School pupil which means he stands more than a fighting chance.
“George has always been great, one of the good guys and one of the guys you want to see do well,” said Quin. “He's a learner, a hard worker and a coach’s delight. He wants to improve all the time, is down to earth, understands where he is and the expectations on him. He's a delight to work with.
“With him, you know he means it when he says this contract is just the start. The first contract is the easy one as you've shone and done well. He's very level headed and already he'll be looking to secure a better deal down the road.”