Cooper and Randell show Argyle academy pathway

Published on: 30 November 2023

Adam Randell is set to reach a century of appearances for Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle boss Steven Schumacher says Michael Cooper and Adam Randell are showing there is a pathway through to the first team for the club's best academy talent.

If selected against Stoke City on Saturday goalkeeper Cooper, 24, will make his 150th club appearance.

Meanwhile midfielder Randell, 23, would play for the 100th time if he features.

"It's a really good achievement and everybody should be proud of it," Schumacher said.

"A lot of people have played a huge part in their development so when they see the numbers like that, to play 150 games and 100 games in the first team, it's really pleasing and everybody should be proud,

"But not only do they make appearances for us, I think they've become two of our best players and they're assets for the club, so credit to everybody who's played a part in that journey and credit to the players as well.

"It's not easy breaking into your hometown club and it's not easy staying in the team as well, so both of them should be proud of themselves."

Freddie Issaka is the latest Argyle youngster to push for a first-team place, with the 17-year-old winger impressing in the Carabao Cup and making two substitute appearances in the league.

With the club putting £11m into the £21m academy development at Brickfields, Schumacher says it shows the club is serious about homegrown talent.

"There's a pathway into the first team and hopefully they can come and make as big an impact as those two players have," he said.

"As long as the club have that philosophy to give the young players an opportunity, understand that young players are going to make mistakes - Adam Randell hasn't played brilliantly 100 times - but as long as we give them the opportunity to play and showcase themselves, then there shouldn't be anywhere else that you need to go.

"For me the message to all the academy players is keep working hard, keep listening to all your coaches who play a part in your development, and if you do well enough then it won't be long before you get a chance."

Source: bbc.com

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