Joey Barton says If you cannot outspend the League One big boys then teams like his Fleetwood Town side have to give youth a chance
Joey Barton believes Fleetwood Town could be a home for youngsters struggling to gain opportunities at clubs higher up the pyramid.
In his first year as the Highbury head coach, Barton has given younger players a chance.Nathan Sheron became the first player from their academy to feature for the first team during August’s 2-0 win at Oxford United.U18 defender James Hill featured in the Carabao Cup earlier this season, while the last week has seen debuts to U18 pair Ryan Rydel and Barry Baggley.They came off the bench in last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Walsall before Rydel was also involved in the midweek loss at Coventry City.Giving youngsters their chance is also important to Barton from a recruitment point of view.His first transfer fee was spent in January on Darlington’s Harvey Saunders, who was immediately loaned back to them ahead of coming to Highbury in the summer.While Town cannot outspend the bigger clubs in League One, they can – like Coventry – create a pathway for players to progress.The Sky Blues gave a debut start to 18-year-old defender Morgan Williams who helped Coventry to their win.“We have got to show we will give players that are good enough an opportunity,” said Barton.“Any good young players out there who feel they are not getting opportunities elsewhere, if you think you have a chance of playing, then this will be the club for you.“Coventry had a very young side themselves. If you cannot outspend other sides in the division then you have got to give youth a chance.“We are in that boat and I think our lads will prove over a period of time that they are good enough to command a place in our first team.”A product of Manchester City’s Academy, the Town bos is keen not to put pressure on his youngsters.He said: “They will develop as they need to. The only way to develop is by getting minutes and playing games.“We had Barry Baggley on the bench again on Tuesday. Obviously the game did not go the way to get him into the game.“Harrison Holgate was with the travelling party and very close to getting a spot on the bench so it is great.“You look round and see those young, hungry and determined players trying to forge a career in the game.“Sometimes it can really set the tempo for your training.“We put Ryan into the game on Tuesday because we know what he is capable of.“The opportunities will be there for the young players.”