Twice this week, it has been driven home to me the value of trusting your youth programme to deliver the goods. Sport is about bringing new talent to the top as much as buying up others top talent and for two massively diverse reasons Munster and Newcastle have done that.
The former, through the pride and confidence of Munster Rugby, has relied on a few new local lads to work out results against Leinster and Connacht. Hurley, Coughlan and (arguably) Manning have show the quality that can be bestowed on a youth system by simply trusting it. Give the young lads the confidence of a team and managers belief and watch the world fall at their feet. I've taken the squids advice and herself (biggest fan I know) has a great present all going well.
Newcastle have a whole team out through injury and the lad David Edgar has come in from the youth team as a right-footed left-back to play fantastically against the in-form winger Ronaldo and score the goal which gave us a 2-2 draw against the Reds. I would have taken it before kick off and after a disappointing Christmas programme, it was a great tonic. Roeder is doing good work with a decimated side and UEFA cup qualification is the best hope for the premiership. He has been forced to trust Huntingdon and Edgar before time (a fate which saw Chopra leave for Cardiff in the long run). Yet alongside Ramage and Taylor the boys suggest that Newcastle may enjoy in a few seasons (for the first time in a decade) a defence worthy of the name.
Youth is where teams are made. While transfers may get you a trophy, youngsters get you success.