COX ON YOUTH STRUCTURE
Youth infrastructure crucial to Mansfield Town says manager Paul Cox
Saturday, May 19, 2012 Nottingham Post
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox is determined to help put the infrastructure in place to ensure a production line of young talent can come through the ranks to break into his first team.
The Stags boss has been in a series of meetings with youth team manager Mark Hemingray and director Steve Hymas to make that happen.
And next season will see the Stags enter the Central League Central Division Reserve League.
The club has a history of players coming through the ranks with Alex John-Baptiste and Liam Lawrence recently going on to play in the Premier League, while Lee Williamson, Bobby Hassell, Tom Naylor and Jake Buxton are among those going into the Championship.
Cox is hoping that will be the case in the future.
He said: "What I want next season is a more sturdy, close-knit ship.
"I want the youth team at the same training ground as us and, more importantly, I want the youth team coming through into the first-team.
"I want these kids coming through because a lot are local boys and if they are good enough, I want them in. It is that simple.
"The youth set-up was in its infancy last year and I am looking for them to hit the ground running this season. We will have them coming through to the reserves and ultimately the first team.
"It will take a lot of the stigma away regarding players going out on loan.
"The reserve league we are going into is very competitive with the likes of Sheffield United and Burton Albion. The lads next year will take a few bloody noses.
"It is about the education of the players, schooling them physically, mentally and technically, to come through.
"It is a massive learning curve for them."
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