I received an e-mail earlier from a chap who will only ever be know as Eric asking about our home grown players quota and whether, with our current policy of recruiting from Europe, it is something that we should be concerned about.
The rules state that within our registered squad of 25 players, eight of them must be “home grown” players. Home-grown players do not have to be English; home-grown players are defined as those who “irrespective of nationality or age, have been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a period of three seasons or 36 months prior to 21st birthday.”
But with our transfer eyes firmly locked onto the French and Dutch leagues in search of value for money, is it possible to keep within the rules this season? Or the next? Or the one after that? We’ve already lost a couple of home grown players such as Alan Smith and Danny Guthrie, and with rumours over the future of Leon Best, Fraser Forster and Danny Simpson we could still lose a few more over the summer.
The good news is that we are fine next season. We have Tim Krul, Steve Harper, Rob Elliot, Steven Taylor, Mike Williamson, Ryan Taylor, James Perch, Dan Gosling and Shola Ameobi which makes nine, even if all the players mentioned previously leave the club in this transfer window.
Realistically though, I would suggest that a lot of those players won’t exactly be first choice long term aside from Tim Krul and Steven Taylor, and even Taylor’s place in the team, whilst assured right now, may be under threat if we manage to bring in a good central defender in the summer. With that in mind, how are we looking longer term?
Well next season Shane Ferguson will have to be named as part of the 25 man squad if he is to feature for us. The same will apply for Sammy Ameobi and James Tavernier as all three turn 21 before before next January which means they can sneak in unregistered this term but will have to be named next time around.
All in all we have little to worry about on that front, so rest easy Eric. It’s all in hand and I’m sure that it is something that all clubs have in their thoughts whilst they are assembling their squads.
Well, hopefully anyway!