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Blues rely on youth this season
BLUES boss Gary Waddock admits there are dangers of blooding a raft of youngsters during a season, but believes if three of four of his young brigade get their debuts it will go down as a good year.
The manager will rely on a host of players promoted from the academy during the close season, as well as a clutch of other players barely into their 20s.
He said: “It’s about development, bringing them into the squad and then taking them out again at the right time. Performances won’t be consistent until they mature, but this is all part of the learning curve...travelling with the team, dealing with the fans, playing in front of crowds.
“We’ve got a very good group of young players here, and if we get three of four of them to make debuts then it will have been a worthwhile exercise for them and for us.”
The latest to break through is Jesse Kewley-Graham, who made his debut against Cheltenham last weekend.
He said: “I found out I was playing on Friday. I was nervous but obviously excited at the same time.
“I thought I did alright though. I should have got on the ball a bit more, I’m a player that likes to get on the ball and pass it about, but I thought it was more a competitive game, more tracking your runners, making tackles, heading the ball...
“Youth team football its not as competitive [as first team football], where you’re fighting for three points you’re fighting for the fans, you’re fighting for the gaffer...
“It’s a lot different but it’s a good learning curve and hopefully I can show the fans a bit more of what I’m about next week if I’m in the squad.”
Playing alongside Gareth Ainsworth won’t hurt either.
Kewley-Graham said: “Gareth is doing a lot with the young kids. He’s just trying to bring the best out in us and he’s a really good role model.”