The five Fleetwood Town youngsters looking to impress in pre-season

Fleetwood Town's Eddie Clarke
Fleetwood Town's Eddie Clarke
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Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has been a big fan of young players.

When he arrived in the summer of 2018 he spoke about providing a pathway for young talent to his first team.

He backed that up last season with Nathan Sheron, Ged Garner, James Hill, Ryan Rydel and Dan Mooney all making their EFL debuts.

Billy Crellin, Barry Baggley, Dylan Boyle, Harrison Holgate and Laurence Smith have also been sniffing around the first team.

Which young players should the Cod Army keep an eye out for this pre-season?

Nathan Sheron

With Ash Eastham and captain Craig Morgan as their only senior centre-halves, Town need to recruit in that area, particularly in view of the skipper’s injury problems.

But could the support for the two current first choice centre-backs already be in the building?

Last season was Sheron’s breakthrough campaign.

He has featured at centre-half, right-back and in central midfield, but after making his mark, he now needs to build on that and nail down one position.

Michael Fowler

Of Town’s four development squad attackers it was Fowler who booked his seat on the plane to Portugal with a goalscoring cameo in the pre-season win over Wrexham.

He linked up well with Mooney and Eddie Clarke and showed his goalscoring instinct by converting Mooney’s centre.

Dan Mooney

While Fowler might have scored the only goal against Wrexham last week, he wasn’t the only youngster to impress.

Mooney was a threat on the right-hand side with a performance that booked his place on the plane to Portugal.

Eddie Clarke

Clarke arrived last summer with the Cod Army believing he was the answer to filling the shoes of Amari’i Bell.

Despite the promise it just did not materialise with James Husband soon arriving from Norwich City.

If his second-half display against Wrexham is anything to go by, then new signing Danny Andrew certainly has competition for that left-back or left wing-back role on the opening day.

Billy Crellin

It is also a big summer for another youngster, Billy Crellin.

The England youth international travelled to Portugal but did not feature against Wrexham as Town gave a trial to former Blackpool keeper Matt Gilks.

Alex Cairns played every League One game for Town last season, when Barton preferred Paul Jones as deputy.

Someone like Gilks would only force him to greater heights but, in Portugal, Crellin has the chance to prove he should be number two this season.

With the arrival of James Cottam from Preston North End, Town have two young keepers under Cairns.

It is up to those two to prove to Barton why he should not swoop for experienced back-up again this summer.