Torquay United Manager Martin Ling insists that producing home-grown players is the way forward for the League Two promotion hopefuls.
Ling recently handed Youth team skipper Kirtys MacKenzie and winger Niall Thompson their first professional deals.
And with the likes of Saul Halpin, Ashley Yeoman and Ed Palmer already in the first-team squad having graduated from the Gulls youth system Ling has stressed the importance of creating a culture that allows youth players to prosper at Plainmoor.
“As a Football Club you’ve got to fetch your own through,” Ling told BBC Devon.
“It gives supporters something to believe in and gives us more budget to work with at the top end.”
“When I left Orient the 24-man squad consisted of 12 players that I had brought through the system and 12 that had come from outside, if that could the case when I leave Torquay I’d be a happy bunny.”
“It’s about the coaches looking at the under nine’s and fetching them through to the under 16’s. People say ‘Why are you worried about the under nines, it’s a six or seven year period before they even come in to the Club?’”
“I agree with that, but what I want to do is that whenever I walk away leave a legacy where good players come through the system. There are the raw products in and around the local area as well as the raw products from outside the area.”