Paul Ince has backed the nine players he released from Blackpool’s ‘development squad’ to forge careers for themselves elsewhere, but that hasn’t eased his pain on letting them go.
The development squad was formed under Ian Holloway, replacing the reserve team as a means of nurturing young players at Bloomfield Road.
But it has now been disbanded, and although Ince believes the right decision has been made he still describes the task of cutting ties with young players as “a horrible part of the job”.
Ince said: “I hate it but it had to be done.
“These players will move on and find new clubs and they will make careers for themselves, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
“As much as it hurts me to let them go, deep down I know I’m doing the right thing.”
Among the outfield players who regularly featured in development squad games in 2012-13, only Elliot Grandin, Nathan Eccleston, Bob Harris, Gerardo Bruna and Alberto Noguero made any appearances for the first team all season, and the latter pair managed only one appearance each.
Bruna and Grandin are among those released last week.
Ince added: “Unfortunately we aren’t having a development squad next year. We are concentrating on the first team, so there’s just nowhere I could take these young players.
“There’s no point me keeping kids here who don’t really play any games. All they’ve done since I’ve been here is train.
“When you are that age you need to be getting up on a Saturday and having points to play for.”