Palace Youngsters could be Champions League Stars

By: Sarah Stonehouse |
12/10/11 |
Jonathan Williams

Paddy McCarthy reckons Crystal Palace’s young guns can become Champions League super stars.

Academy products Johnny Williams, Wilfried Zaha, Sean Scannell and Nathaniel Clyne were given the special endorsement by the Palace skipper.

“We have got a fantastic bunch of young lads. With all due respect, I think if they keep on going like they are, I think they will be playing Champions League football,” he told www.holmesdale.net

“If they keep working hard on their game, listen to the people at this club in and around them and put the work in, it won’t be long before these lads – Jonathan Williams, Wilfried Zaha, Sean Scannell, Nathaniel Clyne – are playing Champions League football.”

“But first and foremost they have to perform week in, week out for Crystal Palace and maybe, realistically, use the club as a stepping stone. A lot of players have done that in the past, but I think that will benefit Crystal Palace in the long run.”

He added: “I’m comfortable with what we have in the changing room, with the young lads – I think if you tried to go out and buy those sorts of players, you would be spending millions of pounds.”

“It is fantastic for the club to keep producing these kids. They are young lads with Crystal Palace in their blood as well, so they want do well not just as individuals but for the club they grew up supporting. It all bodes well for a bright future for the club.”

Clyne, Scannell and Zaha are all graduates of the clubs Apprenticeship programme. Clyne and Zaha have both represented England at youth level while Scannell has featured for the Republic of Ireland’s U21s and B team. Williams who is current 2nd Year Apprentice at the club, recently received a call up to the full Wales squad but he did not appear for them in either of their recent victories against Switzerland and Bulgaria.