Manager Challenges Scholars To Progress
Gary Bowyer has praised the work Ciaran Donnelly and John Murphy are doing with the youth team and says he won't be afraid of selecting youngsters in the first-team.
The under-18s have made an unbeaten start to the new campaign, stretching to six matches in all competitions, and that hasn't gone unnoticed.
"Ciaran and Murph are doing ever so well with them and hopefully there's somebody in there that's going to break through and push to break into the first-team squad, which for a club like ourselves is important," the manager told the official website. "I wouldn't be afraid to put them in."
The connection between the youth team and first-team this season is much improved, with the scholars using the same facilities as the senior squad.
"I love that the players are that close to the first-team players, when they come over and train they're not strangers and that helps," Bowyer admitted. "We had four or five of them training with us last week and it was really good."
The focus at this moment is to continually enhance the development of the under-18s, in order for them to make the step to first-team football in future. The best way to help bridge the gap could well come from loan experiences in non-league.
"They know that they've got a hell of a lot of work to do because the gulf to bridge from youth team to first-team is still pretty big. I've spoken with Ciaran about the possibility of some of the younger ones going out on loan that are in the youth team now, to play men's football to try and bridge that gap. Ciaran agreed with me but it'll be about picking the right time with that," the manager added.