Middlesbrough have an abundance of talented defenders in their squad including Daniel Ayala, Ben Gibson and Ritchie De Laet, they have all been solid for the Boro so far this season and have helped them to maintain a position near the top of the Championship.
For Middlesbrough fans, it was fantastically refreshing to see 18-year-old centre half Dael Fry performing magnificently well against Cardiff on Tuesday, he was solid at the back and each time he was given the ball he was calm and composed, frequently helping his team get onto the front foot and into a counter attack.
At this time, the club are somewhat relying on players like De Laet and Chelsea loanee Tomas Kalas, who played next to Fry, to help them achieve their ambition of promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
However the staff at Middlesbrough Football Club know that they have some fantastic young players that they can rely on in the near future such as Fry, Arnel Jakupovic and also Harry Chapman, who has recently been loaned to Barnsley until the end of the season.
Middlesbrough have been known in the past to produce some of the finest young players who have gone on to play for their own club and also Premier League clubs, a great example of this would be Stewart Downing who played for Aston Villa, Liverpool and West Ham United as well as claiming 35 appearances for his country.
He has now returned to the North East to end his career with his boyhood club. A more recent example would be 23 year old Adam Reach, who is a great player and has scored 4 goals this season whilst being on loan at Preston.
The future of the club looks positive as Craig Liddle’s Under 19 side made it to the last 16 of the UEFA Youth Cup.
They fought off sides like Torino and Dynamo Kiev however they were knocked out by the Paris Saint-Germain U19 team after a 1-0 loss.
This unbelievable achievement shows that the youth development team at the club are encouraging promising young talent, and helping them progress until they can break into the senior team like Dael Fry is now.
All of the staff including Craig Liddle and head of the academy Dave Parnaby are due credit for positively impacting the future of Middlesbrough Football Club.
Many of the young players are from the North East and around Middlesbrough so it is great for the fans to see more and more English players, reach their potential and make their way from the youth teams into the first team, where they can be watched by thousands of people who are from the same region as themselves.
Dael Fry seems as though he has a fantastic career ahead of him, much like many of the other Boro academy players. Do you agree with the views in this article about Middlesbrough’s youth development? Can they be doing anything better to benefit these young footballers? Leave your own views and points by commenting below!