'Change hurts, but it can be for the good - not necessarily for the bad': Mark Catlin on Portsmouth Academy overhaul
Pompey fans have been urged not to fear change as the Blues’ Academy undergoes an overhaul.
That’s the message of Mark Catlin, who has overseen the appointment of Greg Miller as head of the youth set-up on Monday.
There will be no development group next year, while elevation to Category 2 standard remains an aspiration yet still lies in the distance.
However, Catlin insists the Academy is ‘evolving’ as the Blues seeks to ramp up a production line which has gone a little quiet in recent seasons.
And he is confident the modifications led by Miller’s appointment will have a favourable impact.
Pompey’s chief executive told The News: ‘In any business or any department within any business, there is a time where things evolve and change. It’s constantly evolving and changing.
‘Danny (Cowley) and Nicky coming in moves the opportunity to look at ourselves as a club – and both of them will have an input in the Academy,
‘In addition, the incoming Academy manager gives everyone a chance to look at new ideas, fresh ideas, and quite often that results in change.
‘Change can be for the good, it’s not necessarily for the bad.
‘If you look at the structures we have put in place (under Tornante) and the staff we have put in place, we have beefed up our recruitment structure, we have paid transfer fees for players under-18s, we have put new roles in and gradually increased the salaries of the people we are bringing in.
‘The Academy isn’t a short-term fix, it’s based over a long period. You don’t achieve instant success, and change hurts. It hurts.
‘But we feel that’s what is needed to continue to drive the Academy forward in the future.’
Meanwhile, Catlin has reiterated that plans to introduce a development group remain on the backburner.
The financial impact of Covid has forced the Blues postpone the project until after next season at the very least.
He added: ‘A development group remains under constant consideration with the arrival of a new Academy manager and then a manager in the close season.
‘It is something we will discuss, but, given the financial effects of Covid and not knowing when fans will return next season, it’s not something we could put into place for next season anyway.
‘In terms of the Academy, the step up from Category 3 to 2 isn’t just about the additional staff and the requirements there, because we meet a lot of those standards.
‘It really is about the requirements of the infrastructure with things such as indoor pitches, there are a lot more facilities.
‘We aspire to be a Category Two club, but, before we do that, we want to make sure we are the best Category 3 club that we can be.’
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