The remarkable job being overseen by Gary Brazil within the academy set-up at Nottingham Forest is earning the kind of widespread recognition it undoubtedly deserved.

Those at the City Ground have been showering those in the youth ranks with praise for some time.

A productive conveyor belt of talent shows no sign of slowing down.

Within the club’s senior class of 2019-20 are the likes of Joe Worrall and Ryan Yates.

Michael Dawson is also a home-grown star, while teenagers aplenty are taking their first steps up the ladder.

Brennan Johnson – with strong ties to the Reds through father David – is held in the highest regard.

Alex Mighten’s lively performance against Chelsea on Sunday has seen him earn similar billing – having also committed to a new contract this season.

Tyrese Fornah and Yassine En-Neyah also figured at Stamford Bridge, while Liam Sole, Jordan Gabriel and George Shelvey were unused substitutes.

Of the 18-man matchday part in west London, 10 came through the system at Forest.

Dawson, Yates, Johnson and Mighten were joined in the starting XI by goalkeeper Jordan Smith.

The Reds may have suffered a 2-0 defeat against Premier League opposition, but they were far from outclassed.


(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Were it not for VAR, Sabri Lamouchi’s side may still be in the hat.

Taking great pride in the efforts of those that he has helped to nurture to this point, Brazil took to social media in the wake of a reversal against Chelsea.

He said: “Outstanding learning experience for our Academy graduates.

“Highlights the hard work of a committed group of staff and players over a long period of time.

“It also emphasises the opportunity for young players joining our Club that the pathway to the 1st Team is real.”

Three very valid points.

The youngsters involved will have benefited from the experience, while the efforts of those working outside of the wider public eye are being recognised.

Forest are also making themselves an appealing proposition for more stars of tomorrow.

Any that join the ranks can expect to get the very best schooling from Brazil and Co.

It is testament to the 57-year-old’s dedication to his craft that he continues to oversee the development of would-be stars on Trentside.

He could easily have walked away before now.

Three spells, all of them productive enough, have been taken in as caretaker coach of first-team affairs.


Having got a taste of the high life, Brazil could have been forgiven for wanting more.

He has, however, been more than happy to retrace his steps on each occasion.

Brazil is following in the footsteps there of Paul Hart.

The former Reds defender returned to the club to oversee youth team matters before eventually landing the top job.

Hart brought the likes of Dawson, Andy Reid and David Prutton through the system.

He would later guide the club into the second tier play-offs with an exciting side which blended experience and youth.

Lamouchi currently has a similar pot of talent at his disposal.

He has said in the Nottingham Post: “I just want to say that Nottingham Forest has a good academy and very good young players.

“Gary Brazil and the coaches at the academy have produced young, talented players and we want to give them, at the right time, the chance to play.”

It could be that Lamouchi ends up going one step further than Hart, with Premier League football returned to NG2, and if he does than another large slap on the back will be due for all of those at the Nigel Doughty Academy.

It’s just like watching Brazil!

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