Southampton boss Hasenhuttl confident new owners won't axe academy

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is confident the club’s new owners won’t seek to disband the academy.

Sport Republic co-founder Rasmus Ankersen had arrived at Brentford as a co-director of football almost exactly a year before the decision to get rid of the academy was put into action.

And with Ankersen’s new involvement with Saints at an owner level, Hasenhuttl was faced with the question of whether the St Mary’s club could do the same thing.

He responded: “No, I don’t think this is possible.

“We are more than just a role model as a Premier League club, we are a club for the region and for the young people here.

“If you want to get a relationship for this club you have to start when you’re very young and for it to be a target in your life. I think for the kids growing up in the region that is very important.”

He speculated: “There is still a target for kids to one day be in the first team. What I think could happen is that the under-23s comes under question.

“As you see, the guys who really make it to the highest level make their debuts at 16 or 17, not a lot do it at 22 or 23.

“In Germany, it is becoming more that the Under-23s are gone and the under-18s or under-19s are the last youth team. Until then, I think it should stay the same for us.

“We need not deliver players to the first team all the time but to get that relationship for the club.”

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