Man City academy chief Cassell: Recruitment becoming more competitive

Manchester City academy chief Jim Cassell admits it's getting tougher to beat local rivals to the best young talent in the area.

"They're not small clubs either," Cassell declares. "Our neighbours are a big club, Blackburn, Bolton, Wigan, Everton and Liverpool are close by and all in the Premier League.

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"Then you've got the good local clubs like Oldham, Stockport, Macclesfield, Rochdale and Crewe. We've got terrific competition and that's why in a sense it's good for us because you can't take your foot off the accelerator - that's why we're still in the office in the first week of June instead of being on holiday.

"That's life - the job goes on in the summer and it's a very crucial part of the job."

Academy Recruitment Officer, Barry Poynton, responsible for bringing the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Michael Johnson to City also told City's website: "Unfortunately now, all the clubs are trying to gazump us, and it's getting more and more difficult the more successful we get.

"Quite often when we're being linked with a player now we're doing the assessment for them [other clubs], because when Manchester City want you, you know you are a good player."

Cassell adds: "There's a lot of football played in the north west and also a lot of football clubs. We'd love more scouts, to tell you the truth, because it's very difficult and very competitive.

"Without doubt we're all chasing the same players, you win some and lose some, but we just keep trying to build up our reputation and keep trying to ensure that when the boys do sign with us that they are going to get a chance."

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