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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

It was going to fall apart under Gudjon

Dario has spoken out against how former manager Gudjon Thordarson handled the club during his stint as manager. Dario certainly didn't hold back in dishing the dirt on the Iceman at the club's AGM last night.

Gudjon over saw the club's relegation to League Two but more annoying for Dario was his disregard of the academy set up.

During the summer, highly rated youngsters Matt Lund and Ben Marshall both refused professional contracts at the club as they departed for Stoke City. Whilst Lund has remained a regular in the Stoke reserves, Marshall has enjoyed impressive loan spells at Northampton, Cheltenham and current club Carlisle.

It was almost the beginning of the end for Dario, who rarely sees players jump ship at such a late stage in their development.

Quoted on thisisstaffordshire.co.uk, Dario told shareholders at the AGM that the 'place looked like it was falling apart' under Gudjon, even getting involved in a little tittle tattle:

'Gudjon didn't do what he said he was going to do and the whole place looked like it was going to fall apart.

'It was a relief when he went as I was able to keep the Academy going.'

'He watched one youth game and we lost two of our players from that game. One of the fathers watching claimed he'd said there were no good players on the pitch - soon two of them signed for Stoke.'


Following the departures of Marshall and Lund it was reported that scholars such as highly rated 16 year old Max Clayton were on the verge of leaving the club with Liverpool showing interest.

Chairman John Bowler added that Gudjon arrived on the understanding he would embrace the youth system, only to go against his promise as his reign went on.

No surprise there then from a long ball merchant who's had no ties to youth academies in his career. Not that that should have cropped up in the appointment process, of course.

The comments come as no surprise. Gudjon was on his way to tearing this club apart and he was sacked not a moment too soon. He was upsetting the balance at the club but more importantly he couldn't produce the results on the field.

Dario and the club have spent months 'rebuilding' and defending the academy's worth to the club since Gudjon's departure. Unfortunately it's got to the point that it now overshadows even the first team.

Whilst the academy is an important part of the club there needs to be some kind of balance. Right now the first team works for the academy when, at any football club, it should be the other way around.

Dario's focus is on the academy and he almost admits as much. Having a manager more concerned about getting academy players on the pitch than getting the ball in the back of the net is not a road I want us to go down, if we're not already there!

As proud as I am about the players this club has produced and the reputation it has earnt itself, it is results on the pitch that ultimately matter. The academy is no consolation when we're 15th in League Two.

'It was a relief when he went as I was able to keep the Academy going.'

Sums up our club's ambitions.



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The Journalist

Writer: Dink Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 26 2010

Time: 8:00AM

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