Wigan Athletic boss warns of 'pressures' on Academy starlets

Joe Gelhardt
Joe Gelhardt

Paul Cook reckons Wigan Athletic’s blossoming youth programme is worth shouting from the rooftops about.

But he is determined to keep his voice down for the time being – for fear of placing any undue pressure on the club’s talented teens.

Latics were represented at the recent Under-17s European Championships in Ireland with Joe Gelhardt (pictured right) and Jensen Weir – who made their league debuts at Birmingham in April – making their mark.

Weir – who has dual nationality – has also played at youth level for Scotland, for whom Kyle Joseph is earning rave reviews.

And goalkeeper Owen Evans was recently called up into the full Wales squad for the first time after graduating from the youth ranks.

All of which means the future for the club remains bright – although Cook is not getting too carried away.

“I hate heaping pressure and praise on these lads,” Cook told the Wigan Post.

“Look at Joffy (Gelhardt) – he’s only just turned 17.

"He doesn’t need any extra pressure in his life other than football.

"But it's great for these lads to be representing Wigan Athletic on the world stage.

"And it's great for the scouts and the coaches who have helped to put them there."