Oyston defends plans to axe Pool’s reserve side

Chris Basham.
Chris Basham.
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KARL Oyston has insisted Pool’s decision to scrap the reserve team will not harm the club’s youth policy.

The Seasiders will not enter a side in the second string league next season and will instead play behind closed doors friendlies.

The decision was taken by manager Ian Holloway and is fully supported by Oyston.

Pool’s chairman says the plan is to form a development squad of players under the age of 21 who will be good enough to step into the first team if required

Oyston said: “We’ve talked for four or five seasons about the reserves and what the benefits are.

“In the Premier League no-one really plays their first-team squad players (in the reserves).

“They mostly play their youth teams or development squads, so there is not a great deal of point being in it.

“What tends to happen is that clubs organise fixtures between themselves to be played behind closed doors. That has the benefit of bringing flexibility – (the scheduling of) one or two reserve fixtures hasn’t suited Ian.

“He would have preferred them to be cancelled. He had to make the reserve teams up with players in contention for the next first-team squad, which wasn’t ideal.

“Another issue is that bookings and sendings-off in the reserves count towards the first team, but in behind closed doors games they don’t.”