Leam Richardson: Academy continuing to prop up Wigan Athletic

Leam Richardson admits Wigan Athletic’s Academy set-up will continue to play a key role in the survival bid during the final quarter of the League One campaign.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 6:20 pm
Callum Lang is one of several Academy graduates to have stepped up to the plate this term

The youth set-up has already been credited with twice saving the club from going under.

Last summer, with the transfer window not yet open, the EFL granted special dispensation for Latics to sell Jensen Weir, Joe Gelhardt and Alfie Devine – which paid the wages and prevented the other players walking away for free.

Then, most of the Under-23 side was promoted to the first team, to allow Latics to put out a senior side this season.

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And with injuries beginning to bite again, Richardson says the Academy could again prove worth its weight in gold for more reinforcements.

“We’ll be looking at every possibility of getting more players onto the field during the rest of the season,” he said.

“We’ve absolutely decimated the Under-23s this year already...half of them are involved in the first-team squad, and half have been forced to forge careers elsewhere to open up spaces in that squad.

“There’s a lot of big games to be played at both Under-123 level and Under-18 level as well as first-team level.

“So every single player who is available to play does come under consideration for selection at whichever level.”

Forward Callum Lang is rated ‘50/50’ for this weekend’s game at Accrington.

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