Adam El-Abd helps out in the AcademyTown captain Adam El-Abd has expressed his optimism at the clubs current academy set-up, after spending time coaching with the U14s and U15s as he works towards his UEFA A License.
The defender is working on his hours towards the award, and he feels that the standard that he has seen from the younger age groups through to the U18s is great for the clubs future.
“The U18s have got some very, very good players. I’ve been in to do a bit of coaching with Dawesy [Ian Dawes] and they’ve got three, four or five players that you look at and go ‘bloody hell, they’ve got a chance’, El-Abd said.
“I’m working with the 14s and 15s today and again there’s some talent out there, and why not in three or four years time can they not be on the conveyor belt to come through?”
El-Abd also believes that the history that the club has of producing players from its academy gives the young players some examples that they can look to emulate.
“I’ve only been here since July, and I’ve already noticed there are a lot of academy products in the past that have moved onto the Championship and Premier League.
“That’s great for a club like Shrewsbury to have that sort of potential coming through.”
Despite starting his coaching badges, the defender isn’t looking to hang up his boots any time soon, and he isn’t yet sure whether the coaching route is right for him.
“I still feel I can play until I’m 40. I’m 32 now and I’ve got no intention of retiring until I’m at least 40 - in my head - unless I get a bad injury then obviously things can change.
El-Abd continued: “When I retire if I want to coach, or whether I want to do something completely different, I’ll decide something then.
“I’ve got these years to enjoy doing a bit of coaching and helping the youngsters when I can.”
El-Abd also praised the work of Academy Manager Andy Jones and Dawes, and he’s hopeful that he won’t be the only first teamer to work with the youngsters this season.
“AJ and Dawesy and the boys in the academy have been really helpful to me and I appreciate the help.
“I think Jim O’Brien and Shaun Whalley are going to join in with the academy. I think it’s good that there will be a link from the first team to the academy, it makes a connection and it can only be a good thing for the club.”