Will Van Lier comes on to make his senior debut

To celebrate the EFL's Youth Development Week, at Peterborough United we are speaking to some of the players and staff to showcase our Category 'B' Academy. 

Within the first team squad, Peterborough United have two shining lights when it comes to the success of our Academy. Skipper Harrison Burrows and striker Ricky-Jade Jones have both progressed through the system, from under 9s through to the first team, but they are not the only players who have progressed through the ranks. 

Midfielder Will Van Lier, who is a regular within the Under 21s, joined Posh from his local grassroots team and from the under 9s, he has consistently played a 'year above', which has not only challenged him from a physical point of view, but also from a tactical standpoint.

He has seen a host of changes at the club's training ground base on Oundle Road and believes the set-up now gives youngsters within the Academy the best chance of fulfilling their potential. 

"I was playing for my local grassroots team and had a little spell at Boston United before I joined Posh at under 9s and it has been amazing to progress through all of the age groups. 

"I have seen how much things have changed at the training ground, when I joined we were training on the 3G at the school next door and now we have a wonderful facility, an indoor dome, everything you would need as a young footballer to try and reach your potential. 

"I am now part of the under 21s group and that is really good to come up against decent opposition at the level we are at, but also I think the pathway is really important. 

"When you are an under 18 player, the gap to first team football can be huge. The fact we have an under 21 category allows you that extra bit of time to try and see where you can get too. 

"The standard at under 21 football is very high. I think it is better than reserve team football, in reserve team football you might play once every few weeks, whereas we are in a league, we play week in, week out and that challenges you," Van Lier said.

A young Will Van Lier celebrates scoring for Posh U10s
A young Will Van Lier celebrates scoring for Posh U10s