Onuoha: Starlets don't have it easy

02 April 2009 10:30
Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha has rejected claims from Frank Lampard that too many young players are in the comfort zone.Chelsea midfiedler Lampard questioned the motivation of some youngsters, feeling they have it too easy in the present day compared to in the past.Lampard claimed younger players would be better served under the old apprentice system of cleaning players' boots, feeling some are too pampered.However, England Under-21 star Onuoha insists youngsters at City are not given any preferential treatment as they progress through the ranks."Maybe he knows a few people (in the comfort zone) but in terms of our team and the players I know, a lot of players don't get 'too much too young' because you have a grounding," Onuoha told the Daily Telegraph."Even at Manchester City, it's very hard at the academy. You don't just walk into a professional contract. You always have to work hard whether you're cleaning cars or something like that."Although people say that's gone from football, there's still a lot that goes on."The majority of us at City used to clean the coaches' cars. It was (youth-team coach) Alex Gibson's car and it was quite a big car so it took a while. You can still go to some places now, like in the FA Academy League, and see a lot of people doing ground-work there."We were at Derby the other day and we weren't sure if one of the players there had to cut the grass, but it's not something people are aware of. They just think, 'He's a young player and he's got this and that'. It's not like that at all."

Source: Eurosport