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"Play with freedom"

10 September 2013

Adkins on youth development

Manager Nigel Adkins has again emphasised the importance of giving the club’s young players a pathway into the first team.

Fans got to see a number of the Royals under 21s stars in action against Oman this weekend, with the youngsters also set to take on local rivals Swindon in a behind closed doors clash at Hogwood Park on Tuesday afternoon.

“There’s a lot of added pressure on the youngsters these days, there are a lot of influences that go on and what we’re trying to do is to get them to play with freedom,” said Adkins.

“We want them to love running around and to be energized. If they’re energetic then it rubs off on other people and sometimes people lose sight of that. We’ve got to make sure they’ve got a smile on their face, they’re energetic and they go and do what they’re good at and improve on what they need to improve on. We want to get our youngsters through into the first team. If we give them the opportunity it’s up to them to go and grasp it.”

With Academy products such as Michael Hector currently catching the eye during loan deals away from the club, the manager is a firm believer that each player must be judged as an individual in order to maximise their development.

“The Premier League are looking to make the under 21s competition very, very strong – we have regular meetings about our young players and what’s best for their development. If a player does go out on loan we have to make sure it’s the right move to help his career and not hinder his development.” 

Our Twitter feed will have goal updates from this afternoon’s clash with the Robins. 

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