Keith Peacock on the importance of Valley Gold


As a proud Valley Gold member, club ambassador Keith Peacock is delighted to see the academy thriving once again this term.

No fewer than 16 academy graduates have featured for the Addicks' first team so far this season and Peacock was quick to highlight the range of talent that Valley Gold has helped produce through the Charlton academy over the past 30 years.

“We can go back to Paul Konchesky, Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer, Steve Brown and Scott Minto - they have all come through with the help of Valley Gold - and then the likes of Joe Gomez, Ezri Konsa and Karlan Grant," said Peacock, Charlton's record outfield appearance maker. "It's quite amazing how they have all come through and it's thanks to a number of reasons why they have been so successful. 

"The continuity is a big thing, especially for parents who are able to have their footballing children come along under Steve Avory and Rhys Williams. The loyalty that they show to the club is terrific and it's a good feeling for families to know that Charlton Athletic looks after people the best they can in every aspect to become a footballer.

“Valley Gold are the backbone of financially helping to continue to produce academy players coming through and helping to look after them. It's essential that everyone supports them because you can look back and see even the names we haven’t mentioned... there are too many!" 

Peacock also commented on the recent success for Charlton's U13s and U14s in the Madrid Cup, led by youth coach Dave Chatwin. The young Addicks finished fifth out of 24 teams - ahead of the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Porto - with Valley Gold playing an instrumental role by supporting the trip financially.

“When I heard about this I thought it was fantastic for these age groups to go out and play against the likes of PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona in the same age groups," said Peacock. 

"It's so important and such an experience for these youngsters. There are a lot of things that go into becoming a professional footballer and these experiences help with bonding. It's good from the discipline point of view and it helps players become more mature. Going abroad into foreign land is something you always remember later on in your career.

"Sometimes you take things for granted; for instance we have Bob McNab who drives the players around seven days a week," he added. "He takes the youngsters everywhere and everyone knows him. He's a friendly face that they see when they are taken all over the place."

"Matt [Baker, Valley Gold Chair] and Sharron [Sherress, Valley Gold Administrator] are both great forces in the background and long may it continue."

Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the club's academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.

Click here for more information on how you can become a Valley Gold member


(Transcription by Alex Forrest)

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