I might have mentioned some degree of incompetence and inability to understand what’s what on the side of the youth department at 1. FC Magdeburg before. Last time I talked about this, seven players of the successful Under-19 had left despite being young enough to add another season, this time in the top flight at that age, the Under-19 Bundesliga. I added that I wasn’t holding my breath with regard to the management’s ability to secure the services of Daniel Ujazdowski, last season’s U-19 top scorer, for another year or two.
Today, I was proved right. According to youth department chief Carsten Müller, the club could „only go so far“ with regard to a contract offer. Ujazdowski was offered a „perspective in the Under-23 side“, but apparently the offer was not good enough. Naturally, the exact nature of the offer is unknown, but Ujazdowski’s mentor (and former FCM star) Wolfgang Seguin is quoted as saying that „Daniel can only play football, and the club’s offer was really beneath contempt“. [Source]
Assuming that the player was not unreasonable in his demands, it should have been possible to keep him at the club, but instead another talented youth is let go in the desire to save money. But the longterm goal of the club cannot be to be the only Regionalliga side that makes a steady profit – the goal must be promotion and securing a position in the the top 50 of German football (finishing 14th in the 3rd Liga would do that). This will hardly be possible, if the top youth players leave the club year after year. At some point the management has to learn that it is not enough to provide a perspective with regard to the sporting side of things, but that you have to provide for the financial needs of the players – and for their post-football future, by getting them apprenticeship positions for example.
Until then, everything done in forming young talented players will be in vain, as the majority will continue to leave the club once they finish school at the nearby sport schools.