Portsmouth academy chief Hart unimpressed by kids' attitude

Portsmouth academy director Paul Hart is unimpressed by the attitude of today's wannabe footballers.

He told the Portsmouth News: "I'm not sure kids are as hungry as they were and I'm not sure they are as fit in schools as 20 to 30 years ago. Admittedly, these are all generalisations, but I think a lot of people are driven by what they see in the paper in terms of salaries and things like that. They don't know the hard work that goes to get there.

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"I think the priorities among a lot of youngsters are slightly upside down. In our era, it was my life. I used to walk to school and kick the ball all the way to school. That practice which you don't realise is practice that is very hard to replicate now. With our young players, the match on the Saturday morning is the only touchline time we have with them. If they don't practice on those other nights and days, it's very limited to what we did.

"I wasn't a very good footballer but immersed myself in football when I was a kid. I loved the history, I knew where everybody played, knew everybody's name, everybody's nicknames, the colours, everything. If you ask kids nowadays to name the centre-forward for Spurs, they haven't got a clue.

"There are a lot of good kids out there but there is a different call on people's time now - there are more things to distract them. For me, that wraps it up in a nutshell."
And despite the current problems, he's hopeful of recreating the success he enjoyed at Leeds and Nottingham Forest at Pompey.

He added: "I've got 50 to 55 boys now playing league football. It's not just the big names. I suppose a lot of the boys are Premier League players and international players but there are others. Maybe I've been lucky.

"A figure of 30 per cent of your youngsters making league football is a huge amount, but I think it's realistic. Hopefully, we will give Harry the option of picking somebody who has come through the ranks in the next two or three years."

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