There is not a little irony in the fact that Leeds United’s current crop of Under 18s is under the leadership of a Leeds lad who was deemed surplus to requirements under the reign of The Thorp Arch Academy founder Howard Wilkinson.
Richard Naylor left Leeds at 18 to join the Ipswich Town academy, in 1995, staying there for 14 Years and becoming an institution there. That said the man affectionately called bam-bam by his team mates there for his `no-nonsense’ attitude to the game, had a Leeds United Tattoo (we presume he still does) and was visibly overjoyed when he signed on loan for his boyhood club in 2009, albeit in the third division by then.
Richard was our captain in the season we escaped league one, and stuck around with us until 2011, having suffered a number of injuries whilst at Leeds, at 34 he had brief spells with Rotherham and Doncaster. But in July last Year he came home, and is now running our Under 18 side, until last week on a 12 match unbeaten run.
He oversaw Sam Byrams introduction to the first team, and it seems we have a good crop of players waiting to follow his example under the guidance of Naylor, Alex Mowatt and Chris Dawson are possibly the better known. An inspirational captain, and a central defender of not inconsiderable quality in his prime, it was an honour for the RITGK team Matthew Mckeith and Daniel Howard to score an interview with Richard Naylor at HQ – Thorp Arch. What was his take on the current situation at Leeds United? Who should we be keeping an eye out for from the youngsters? Listen on.. With Naylor in charge, and the current crop laying waste to opposition with frightening ease, it appears Leeds have a secret weapon in place to get us back to the Premier League..
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