Date: 13th July 2011 at 1:38pm
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I guess given Steve Cotterill’s track record with youth, and his thoughts on using them, it is not really a surprise that he is discounting them for the season ahead…

So his views in The News today that the youngsters, some of which were on display against Havant, will not really be part of his 1st team squad regularly will ‘surprise’ many – although talk of only talking ‘one or two’ with the squad to America is unbelievable.

I assume the plane will have a certain amount of seats reserved – given our squad numbers I find it unlikely these would have been filled so what harm would it do taking those that featured on Monday to America?

They will feel more like part of the squad and the experience could well prove useful for them. Also, be it in just the one scheduled game we have or perhaps an extra one added, why should they not be given a run-out. We need to be protective of those that will be in the 1st team this season so why take undue risks?

To be fair Cotterill ‘probably’ does have a point, in as much as these youngsters need to develop physically, as well as mentally I would say, but what better way to give them mental toughness by making them feel welcome and part of the team.

I think it is crazy to already be saying the kids will not make up the numbers in our squad this season though. Ok, perhaps they are not ready but I would sooner have a bench with 7 players on it, even if 3 will not get a look-in, than have to keep looking down at 3 or 4 players again this season, which ‘could’ still be the case.

The experience that the kids would get from being, and feeling, part of the 1st team squad could be worth so much and could only help their development.

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by handling the current batch of youngsters we have at the club the right way, and those that will follow behind in the next year or so…

If they are constantly knocked, with negatives given, and given no encouragement or reason to think that they are, or will be, part of the 1st team then what incentive do they have to wanting a long-term future at PFC?

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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