The conveyor belt of youngsters that Leeds United have seen come from Thorp Arch has served the club well. It has also gone to serve other clubs as well.

Two of these former youngsters, Danny Rose and Fabian Delph, are in England’s World Cup 23-man squad and another, Lewis Cook, is one of five players on stand-by.

It is a conveyor belt that is still rolling steadily with the likes of Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips now seen as mainstays of the first-team. Another youngster, Tom Pearce, is reportedly the hub of interest from a posse of Premier League sides after breaking into the first-team at the end of last season.

This repute has served the Whites well and will continue to do so in the future. It has also led to a link-up announced today with Lourdes Sports Development, an entity based in China.

An announcement on Leeds United’s official website earlier mentioned the particulars of the hook-up, with a lot of emphasis being placed on the mutual benefits for both Leeds United and Lourdes Sports Development.

The website article said: “The partnership will see two youth coaching courses setup to support the development of school children in China and will be led by Leeds United coaches from the UK who will travel to China to oversee the coaching programme and the Leeds United brand will appear on the coaching centres located in Guangdong Province.

This link, and brand development, was pushed by Leeds United’s head of commercial, Stuart Dodsley who said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for Leeds United to showcase our brand to a new market, as well as supporting the development of football in a region with an audience of millions of people who are clearly keen to learn more about our national sport.

Speaking on behalf of Lourdes Sports Development, chief executive Chris Chan said: “Leeds United are a massive football club steeped in history with an incredibly passionate and dedicated fan base, so embarking on this partnership was a no brainer. Our vision is simple, we believe that through sport we can provide young people with the tools to help build confidence, life skills and knowledge to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.

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