THE ACADEMY

"There are all sort of issues to resolve to make it as good as possible. We have to comply and make observations as we go along."

- Brian McClair, ManUtd.com

Summary of Under-21 changes

15/08/2012 11:02, Report by Adam Marshall
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McClair handles changes

of weeks. People are appreciating the logistics of it when we have Southampton in our group and also have Sunderland and Newcastle, as well as Spurs and Watford."

The new plan can perhaps be considered as a work-in-progress with more input expected from the clubs as experience is gained and lessons learned over the course of the season.

"You can see where the idea came from but I think the problem with it is there wasn't enough opportunity for people to discuss the negative parts of it," added McClair. "Which I think is mainly the travelling.

"Because it's time-bound in the sense that they decided they wanted to make a change, there wasn't enough opportunity for people in Academies internally to interact with other Academies to discuss whether we think it's a good idea or not. That's where it is now and we'll go through the process but, all the way along, they'd said Category One clubs, when they're decided, would then decide what sort of games programme it is or at least have some discussions on it. So, hopefully, there will be a lot of discussion with the people who actually do these jobs as the administrators' opinion has to count as well because they're the ones trying to organise these games and it's hard."

The groups are the same for the age-groups until the second phase of action towards the end of the year and there have been some changes to the rules, particularly with the scrapping of the Reserves league.

"The groups are exactly the same until the first weekend of December and then, after that, it's even more complicated as it depends on where we finish in those sections," explained the former Scotland international. "Then there will be another group so there is going to be a games

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