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Palace Legends Join Academy Set Up

Posted on: Fri 11 Sep 2009

Over the years Crystal Palace Football Club has been at the forefront of nurturing local talent and helping them to fulfil their life-time ambition of becoming a professional footballer.

Former players like Ben Watson, Clinton Morrison and Tom Soares all progressed from the clubs acclaimed Academy and into the first team. The successes have not stopped there with current youngsters Sean Scannell, Victor Moses,Nathaniel Clyne and Lee Hills all graduating from the Palace Academy and going on to play in Neil Warnock's side.

In a bid to keep that talent coming through the ranks, the club is thrilled to announce that two former Palace Legends will be helping to coach the club's future potential first team prospects.

Wing wizard John Salako made over 200 appearances for the Eagles from 1986 to 1995 and will be coaching the clubs Under 13's outfit this season. When asked why he decided to rejoin the club, Salako admitted that the prospect of coming back to a club he started his career with as a school-boy was just too hard to resist.


"I am delighted to be on board, obviously Palace is in my heart I joined the club as a 14 year old school-boy so I know what is involved. This is home for me and for me to be given this opportunity is incredible.

"I have been looking for some time to get involved with the club again and I felt the time was right and the opportunity was right for me and the club. I am just looking forward to helping the players and if we can produce some strong talent for the first team in a few years then we will have a bright future at the club."

Another attacking minded player is also adding his expertise, Mark Bright, who hit 113 goals for the Eagles from 1986 to 1993. With such a wealth of experience when it comes to sticking the ball in the net, Bright is hoping to pass on what he has learnt during the course of his 19 year professional career.

"I have just joined to help in any way I can really. David Moss the club's Academy Manager spoke to me about it at a Crystal Palace golf day a few months back whether I was interested and it was just a case really of talking to David and seeing exactly how I could help and when.

"My commitments are that I work for the BBC, I do games on a Saturday and some Sunday's and it was just a case of negotiating where I could best help out the club really. We have looked at me helping on Tuesday and Thursday nights at the dome and Monday's at the training ground.

"Fundamentally I will be helping with the technical side, heading, volleying and just pass on the knowledge really."

Academy Manager David Moss believes that the signing of John Salako and Mark Bright is a massive coup for the club and their presence will be of enormous benefit to everyone involved with the Academy.

"I am absolutely delighted, not only for me as academy manager but for the club, the academy and more so for the players. The players will have seen these experienced players on television and they really are Palace legends.

"They are both qualified coaches and it is great for them to put something back into the game. They have their own ambitions of what they want to do in the game and they will want to progress to a high as level as possible on the coaching front and this is a great start for them coaching elite players at this level."

"It is a win, win situation for both parties and I am looking forward to working with them this season."

To watch the full and exclusive interview with John Salako and Mark Bright talking on Palace Player and how they feel they can help the club's youngsters over the years then please click here.

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