Ezri Konsa’s move from Brentford to Aston Villa is another example of the good work of Charlton’s Academy.

The 21-year-old defender made the switch to the Premiership new-boys in a deal worth £12million, but it was only 13 months ago he was an Addick.

His rise from a League One debutant to Premier League player may have been rapid, but for those at Charlton it was a culmination of everything the club and its academy is about.

The club’s recent financial affairs have been well documented, and it’s known that Lee Bowyer is operating with one of the lowest budgets in the division.

For these reasons there seems to be more of a need for the club to blood talent from the academy.

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Dillon Phillips, Albie Morgan, Anfernee Dijksteel, George Lasplie and Toby Stevenson all had breakout seasons last year, showcasing the successful work Academy boss Steve Avory is doing at Sparrows Lane.

The unearthing of talent from the academy however is nothing new according to former Charlton boss Chris Powell.

"It has been part of the DNA of the club for many years,” he said.

"That’s testament to Steve (Avory) and the people before him, the coaches there now.

"They know there’s a pathway.

"Joe Gomez stayed when he could easily have gone to a Premier League club but he knew he’d be in the team.

"As a manager you know that there’s going to be players that have been coached correctly, they’ll be hungry and have a good attitude and work ethic.

"The good thing with Charlton is that they get given the opportunity.

"Every Charlton manager over recent times - Lennie Lawrence, Alan Curbishley, myself, Lee Bowyer - has given plenty of players from the academy their debuts.

"It’s because you know they can handle it.

"We said that once they get in the team we never stop them.

"If someone comes in we never stop them.

"Konchesky, Shelvey, Elliott, Parker so many players that have come in, helped the team and gone on to better things.

“Charlton will never stand in their way."

'They'll be fine'

Despite the financial restrictions Bowyer is currently operating under, forking out just £200k for Macauley Bonne this window and relying on free transfers as he assembles his squad, Powell believes the Addick are capable of competing in English football’s second tier.

“They deserve to be there, and they need to stay there this season and hopefully with the momentum from last year with Lee (Bowyer) and Jonny Jackson, his assistant, they’ll be alright.

“ I think they’ll be fine and I really think they do deserve to be in that division.

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Powell was speaking at the opening of Mulgrave Primary School’s new small-sided 3G pitch, which received a £94,701 grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation of which Chris Powell.


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