Real Betis have announced ambitious new plans for youth team players to make up 70 per cent of their first team line-up.
The youth system, or cantera, is the hot topic in Spain at present. Whilst Real Madrid have been criticised for not giving their youngsters enough opportunities, Barcelona Coach Tito Vilanova recently stated that he would like his entire team to be populated with La Masia graduates, and Andalusians Betis are it seems aiming for something similar.
“In a reasonable amount of time we would like the first team to contain a minimum of 70 per cent homegrown players,” President Miguel Guilllen declared at a Press conference.
“It is a project in the medium to long term. Our sports city should become a factory for the first team. We strongly believe that this investment will give us higher returns.”
The Verdiblancos are doing exceptionally well as things are, sitting fourth in La Liga, but Coach Pepe Mel is fully supportive of the plans.
“The Coaching staff is very clear that we must strengthen what Betis is. You have to allow players to come forward and become footballers. The first team will play its part in making this a reality. We will not put up any walls for the kids.”