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West Brom's triumphant kids have a big chance to shine

It may have been a disappointing campaign overall – but at least the season ended with some things to cheer.

West Bromwich Albion winners of the Premier League Cup (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
West Bromwich Albion winners of the Premier League Cup (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

On and off the pitch we’ve had some good news from The Hawthorns in recent weeks.

It was great to see Albion’s under-23s beat Wolves to win the Premier League Cup.

I wasn’t at the game as I was off in Scotland visiting. But I’ve spoken to people who were and by all accounts we played very well.

I’m sure all our young players enjoyed celebrating the victory.

Now, though, they have got to remember they have got a huge opportunity.

Steve Bruce has said he wants to overhaul his squad this summer.

There will be some money to spend, I’m sure. But it’s not going to be vast sums. And that means these kids have got a chance.

With young players I often feel it’s their mentality that holds them back.

I’ve seen kids step into the first-team, play well and then they think their season is done.

But it’s the opposite. It’s all about performing day in, day out, week in, week out, game after game.

That’s what you have to do to make it as a professional.

Sometimes you just know a player has got it.

I remember when Martyn Bennett and Derek Statham stepped up to train with us.

Of course, you could see how much talent they had. But you could also see they understood what was required of them.

There were so many players who came through who were on that borderline. But they didn’t quite realise talent alone wasn’t enough.

You have got to perform every single day in training.

That’s what these boys who won the Premier League Cup have got to realise. It was fantastic they managed to go on and lift that trophy. But it’s now when the hard work really starts.

Alongside that good news, we also had the announcement that Albion have frozen season tickets for next year. And not only have they frozen adult tickets, they have also significantly reduced how much it costs young fans to watch us.

A season ticket for anyone aged 16 or under is now £23 under the club’s ‘Kids for a Quid’ scheme. You’d be a daft not to get one at a pound a game.

And the club has also priced season tickets for people aged 17 to 19 at £99 which is also excellent value.

It’s so important we start attracting more younger fans into the club.

And it was also important we kept season ticket costs down this summer with the cost of living crisis that’s engulfing the country. I really think we will see lots of new young fans on the first day of the season.

That, for me, is really exciting.

And I just hope we can get off to a flying start and reward them for coming along.

It’s great to see the club is doing everything it can to attract new supporters and keep costs down.

But the bottom is line is always that the football has to be good.

We’re all set now for an interesting summer.

Let’s hope Steve Bruce will now deliver the players so we have got an exciting team to get behind when we’re back under way in July.

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