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Stags boss highlights importance of developing young players

6th August 2018
Sport, News

Stags boss highlights importance of developing young players

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft has praised the EFL for introducing a new ruling, meaning clubs must name one club-developed player within their match-day squad during every game of the 2018-19 campaign.

The Stags kicked off their new season with a 3-0 win over Newport County on Saturday and named striker Jordan Graham and defender Lewis Gibbens on the bench, with Graham making his debut – when he replaced Craig Davies late on in the second half.

Flitcroft, who has been a big advocate of blooding young players since his arrival in March, said “Developing players is key, young players give you an energy, they give you an honesty. It’s a new initiative that the EFL have brought in – Lewis Gibbens was our club developed player.

“We’re a young academy. I didn’t want to put a player on that probably didn’t deserve to be put on, to just tick a box or get the paperwork right. So we fought really hard to get Lewis [ready].

“He’s done something like twenty-four-thousand hours with the football club and with our coaches. It’s a brilliant initative and if you look at the England team and the way they performed [At the World Cup] a lot of that team has come from the EFL.

“I think sometimes in the world of Football and Global Football, there is too much emphasis on the Premier League – there’s over 72 league clubs that underpin that and our EFL is superstrong. Probably 90% of that infrastructure of the England squad has spent time in there and has come from there.

“I’m delighted that Jordan [Graham] has had some game time – would I be worried about putting Lewis Gibbens on? No chance, I’d put him on at the drop of a hat – no problem”

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