Scunthorpe United boss Brian Law has pledged to give some of the club’s apprentices first-team opportunities this season.
After several years of flitting between League One and the Championship, The Iron find themselves starting this campaign in League Two but one bright spot in last season’s demotion is that it will allow Laws to involve the club’s youth players on a more regular basis.
Several have already starred during pre-season with second year apprentice Hakeeb Adelakun handed the number 16 shirt only this morning.
“I would say so, more so in League Two,” Laws told the Telegraph when asked if he will utilise such teenager talent. “We’ve got some good young players coming through.”
“Hakeeb will get better and better, he’s just turned 17.”
Midfielder Kyle Wooton who is still only 16-years old is another attracting the managers attention.
“Kyle Wooton is very big, strong and technically good, aerially strong, and he’s only 16. I do see these players kind of figuring. Jamie Wootton, again, he’s always impressing in training. There might be an opportunity for him.”
“Nobody knows how they will do. You can’t gauge it straight away, but what I can say is I’m sure there will be an opportunity for these kids. You’ve got to give them a chance because they are our stars of the future.”
Youth Development Officer Tony Daws insists that the current crop of youngsters is the best he has worked with and Laws is known to share that view.
Academy graduates (Jamie) Wootton and Luke Hornsey were handed professional contracts this summer, along with George Grayson, after a season which saw the youth team finish third in the Football League Youth Alliance North East Conference.
Adelakun, who finishes his apprenticeship next summer made his first-team debut last year and in the process became the club’s youngest ever player in a Football League game.
“There is a good crop coming through, which is really good for the club.” added Laws. “I think it’s always been difficult for Tony Daws to get players coming through, particularly when they were in the Championship because it’s very hard to put young players in at that level and they’re not ready for that.”
“It’s far easier when you’re in this division because there’s less pressure around them and they cope with it much better. We know we’ve got to get that conveyer belt of talent coming through because that’s where you can save a lot of money.”
“And also, you can make a lot of money as well, if you get the right ones and work with them. The likes of Hakeeb and Wooton, who are only 16 or 17, we’re looking at two talented players and if they get in the first-team, then who knows what can happen.”