Mark Harrison: Sam Field is ready for West Brom first team
Sam Field is ready to become a first-team regular for Albion next season, according to academy manager Mark Harrison.
The 20-year-old central midfielder caught the eye last season whenever he featured, but he only made 12 appearances, seven of which were starts.
Harrison, who has watched Field develop since he joined the club aged eight, reckons the lifelong Baggies fan can cement his place in the line-up in the Championship.
“Look at Sam Field, when he has played, I don’t think anybody would say he’s let the club down,” said the academy boss.
“He’s passionate about the club, being one of our own as everyone knows. He’ll be ready for next season, and will do an outstanding job for the club next season.
“That’s just my own personal view. The view is shared by a number of the academy staff who think he’s definitely ready for next year.”
Field isn’t the only youngster who could make the step up next season according to Harrison, who has been in charge of Albion’s academy for 12 years.
“I’m always going to be biased,” said Harrison. “But the obvious ones are Sam Field, Jonathan Leko, and Rekeem Harper, those are the stand-out ones that I think should be there or thereabouts. Jack Fitzwater has gone away (on loan at Walsall) and been set some challenges and answered all of them.
“It does take a little bit longer to mature and be ready for it but I think personally, those names that I’ve mentioned would be very strong cases for being in and around the first team next season.”
And the academy boss thinks relegation may actually play into the youngster’s hands.
“You can’t deny the fact that the step into the Championship is a little bit easier than the Premier League,” added Harrison.
“Although it comes with different challenges, such as 46 games a year. Going Saturday, Tuesday, is difficult for young players. But that might mean more opportunities for them.
“It is a challenge, the Championship is mentally and physically demanding. But sometimes you’ve got to give people an opportunity and often, they don’t let you down.”
Albion starlet Rayhaan Tulloch is due to feature for England U17s tonight in their European Championship semi-final against the Netherlands in Chesterfield.