B TEAMS CAN HELP YOUTH TO DEVELOP
DAVID Wagner led Borussia Dortmund’s Under-21 side to the third tier of German football – the highest level possible for a reserve side.
England is one of the only nations in Europe that refuses to allow ‘B’ teams to compete in the lower divisions and, while Wagner did not suggest its adoption, the Huddersfield boss is convinced it aids player development.
“It is a very different culture here,” he said. “In England, the Under-21s only play against other Under-21s. In Germany, they play against everyone.
“My team had one season in the fourth division, another in the third. There we played against teams like Dynamo Dresden, Hansa Rostock – very big, famous clubs with 30,000 in their stadium.We played against very tough, old players who know all the tricks of the game.
“It’s a very high standard for young players and maybe this is one reason why young German players develop at such a good level.
“They are included in normal men’s leagues. They can be relegated and promoted, they learn to care about the results. It develops a winning mentality.”