Charlton AthleticSport

Charlton Athletic academy boss Avory: Humility helps our young players go on to excel

Charlton Athletic academy boss Steve Avory feels that players that come through their youth ranks benefit from the lack of ego in their environment.

The Addicks have an excellent record of developing talent with Joe Gomez, left, and Ezri Konsa both in England’s squad for their friendlies against Brazil tomorrow and Belgium on Tuesday.

“I’ve not looked at the current squad in detail that Gareth Southgate has selected, but a number of those players have come through from an EFL background,” said Avory.

“I’ll talk about it from our point of view – there is a humility to everything at this level. Players do need to have that humility – there is no ego attached to the way that players have to conduct themselves.

“They have to go about each and every day not expecting to have things for granted – which might come a little easier in resource, salary and facilities at Premier League level.”

It is the first time that centre-backs Gomez and Konsa have been in the same senior Three Lions squad. Gomez was 18 when Charlton sold him to Liverpool in a £3.5million deal.

The Catford-raised player, now 26, has won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup as well as the U17 European Championships with England.

Liverpool’s Joe Gomez during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Wednesday February 21, 2024.

Konsa, who joined Charlton at U11 level, was 20 when Brentford snapped him up in June 2018.

Academy director Avory is a former school teacher who taught England boss Southgate.

“I can’t make the Brazil game on Saturday but I’m going to Wembley on Tuesday – fingers crossed both of them will figure at some time, preferably together,” said Avory. “It would be brilliant, it really would. Ezri was selected for the last squad and didn’t quite come on. Joe has been there before.

“They were together at Charlton but not in the same year, there is about six months in age between them which put them in different year groups. They would have played in the same team here, at times.

“There was a lot of buzz around Joe coming through. Ezri made over 70 appearances for our first-team and it took him a little bit longer to move on to the higher level, in terms of league football.

“Both of them were challenged as they came through the schoolboy ages and into scholarship by playing in older age groups.

“They have both performed consistently at their clubs. I’d say Ezri has probably had even more consistency over the past season and a half. It’s particularly pleasing to see Joe, having come back from quite a few injuries, really put some excellent performances together for Liverpool this season, in a team that is doing so well.

“They have both got that versatility because Ezri is more of a right-back these days and Joe has played away from his natural position.”

Players who have come through Charlton’s academy – like Terell Thomas, Ashley Maynard-Brewer and Tyreece Campbell – account for 30 per cent of the club’s league minutes this season.

Charlton Athletic’s Steve Avory 

Charlton continue to see their academy products attracting international recognition. Nathan Asiimwe has just been selected by Uganda while Karoy Anderson and Daniel Kanu – both regulars under first-team boss Nathan Jones – have won caps for Jamaica and Sierra Leone respectively.

Jones cut his coaching teeth as U21 manager at Charlton before moving on to Brighton in July 2013.

Paul Hart, who came in as Jones’ assistant in February, was academy director of the Addicks for three years.

“Nathan was with us for one year and I saw what a great job he did that year,” said Avory, inset. “He acknowledges himself that he inherited a good group of players but, nevertheless, he brought them on a lot.

“Paul has got a glowing reference in terms of youth development throughout his coaching career, although he has managed at Premier League and other levels. Paul firmly believes in youth development.

“I don’t want to be too disrespectful to other managers (Charlton have had) because what I try to believe in is that whoever the manager – whether they believe in young players or not – that we have players that they will be impressed by. That has been the case.

“The likes of Nathan, Karoy, Dan and Tyreece have had to prove themselves to Nathan since he has been here. He has already paid great credit to the work done by the academy.”


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.