The former Wycombe Wanderers owner Rob Couhig has revealed what inspired him to help launch the club’s development squad.

The American, who once owned 90 per cent of the club, decided to set up the ‘B Team’ at the Adams Park side in 2020 following their promotion to the Championship.

Many players have since joined the system, with notable graduates being Anis Mehmeti, Ali Al-Hamadi and Chris Forino – three names who have since gone onto pastures news.

Mehmeti now plays for Bristol City in the Championship, Al-Hamadi is with Premier League Ipswich Town, whilst Forino has moved to Bolton Wanderers, who are one of the favourites to get promoted out of League One.

In addition to that, the trio have also been called up to their respective nations in Albania, Iraq and Saint Lucia.

Speaking exclusively to the Bucks Free Press, Couhig said: “He said: “In honest truth, [the development squad] was more Pete than me.

“People always say, ‘oh, but your uncle and nephew’ but we have a good business relationship.

“He understood the economics of English football far better than I did when I first started.

“He was the guy pounding on the table saying we need a development squad.

“We talk about pivotal moments, I remember going onto the training pitch and Gaz [Gareth Ainsworth] and Dave [Wates, a sports scientist], were out there joining in with the first-team as they didn’t have the numbers to practise.

“So if you don’t have enough numbers to practise with, you’re not going to practise well.

“And Pete rightly said that instead of practising against 45-year-old old timers, have them practise against 18/19-year-olds who can also learn their trade and be sold.

“It persuaded me.”

The introduction of the squad was a masterstroke by the Couhigs, but the 75-year-old American admitted that it wasn’t all plain sailing during his five years at Adams Park.

A global pandemic significantly impacted the Chairboys’ year in the Championship, as the club missed out on matchday revenue due to lockdown restrictions.

But the lawyer admitted to remaining positive throughout the ordeal.

He continued: “I’m a very positive guy, even when you get your teeth kicked in.

“We had some ups and downs, most notably when we bought the club only for the pandemic to start a few weeks later.

“But I’m a largely optimistic yet realistic guy, so you always plan for the worst but you also need to plan for the best.

“We were also blessed as when we joined, Gareth Ainsworth was there who is just so positive.

“We only had seven players when we arrived [in the summer of 2019], but he is a natural optimist.

“We got to meet some fantastic people in our squad like Darius [Charles] and Anthony [Stewart], who were the backbone of this club getting promoted.

“Matt Bloomfield, who I believe will become a superb manager in English football, all share a common characteristic and that’s they are never afraid.

“I remember the first game I watched us play as the owner was away at Doncaster Rovers.

“We lost [3-1 on February 29, 2020], and when we walked off, I was with Bayo [Adebayo Akinfenwa] and he was apologising saying that we [the players] needed to be better.

“But I said to him, I’m not concerned, we’re going to be in the play-offs and everything is there for us to advance.

“That’s a memory to remember.”

Wycombe would eventually secure a play-off place and defeat Oxford United in the 2020 League One play-off final.