A new leader emerges
Throughout the course of Academy Dreams: Leeds United, Sean McGurk pops us as one of the regular talking heads, especially around his relationship with Lewis Bate. However, his finest moment arguably comes in the last episode of the series.
With the decisive Arsenal finale getting away from the team at half-time, McGurk is the player to break ranks and lead from the front. The former Wigan Athletic prospect is far from the most senior player in the side, but he’s the loudest voice in the dressing room, stressing the gravity of the situation to every other player sitting around him.
Orta’s trophy admission
With relegation sealed for the under-23s, but a handful of their players graduating to the first team, Victor Orta goes on camera to sum up what success looks like for the academy. The director of football is frank in admitting trophies are of no concern to him when it comes to the youth ranks.
For him, success is all about creating players for the first team and in that sense, this has been another successful season for the academy’s premier team.
Radrizzani sums up Gelhardt’s stature
Vice-chairman Paraag Marathe, who spends most of the year in San Francisco, makes an appearance in the documentary but it’s left until the final section of the finale. The 49ers Enterprises chief asks Andrea Radrizzani if he has any concerns about the under-23s after their poor season.
The Italian acknowledges it was a dire campaign in large part because the likes of Joe Gelhardt were needed to help with the first team. The owner would go on to underline just how highly he thinks of Gelhardt as he takes the club forward.
“The good thing is we saw Joffy Gelhardt doing great performances,” said Radrizzani. “He’s the future of this club. He’s a fantastic boy.
“Maybe he cannot be in the starting line-up, but in 30 minutes, 20 minutes, in the final part of the game, he can impact. Every time he comes in: impact.”
Dressing room tears
One of the stars of Academy Dreams to have moved on since the end of last season is Nohan Kenneh. The defensive midfielder joined Hibernian as a free agent in the summer and the camera footage makes it clear he knew he was on his way at Brentford on the final day of the season.
Kenneh is seen sobbing in the dressing room at Gtech Community Stadium as he embraces Mark Jackson, a coach he values highly for the role he played in his development through the academy at Thorp Arch.
You can watch all six episodes of Academy Dreams: Leeds United on Amazon Prime Video now.