Blues boss puts youth at the forefront of club’s future

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FRICKLEY Athletic boss Karl Rose says he could look to the club’s promising young players to bolster his first team playing squad options next season.

Rose has got “ten to 12” players who’ve agreed to join him at Westfield Lane next season but he’ll take a look at the Blues’ successful under-19s squad over the summer to weigh-up whether they’re good enough for first team inclusion next term.

Players such as Liam Schofield, pictured right in action in the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup final, and Matt Semley were promoted from the U19s to senior action last season - and more could follow suit.

“I’ll be having a look at them when we return to pre-season training,” said Rose.

“We’ll get them training with the first-team squad and we’ll work with them to see where they’re at.”

It’s part of a proposed overhaul of the youth set-up at Frickley as the Evo-Stik Premier League club looks to build for the future.

Club officials, including Rose, met on Tuesday night to discuss plans to set up a pathway for young players to progress from under-7 to first-team level.

The Blues’ under-19s side strolled to league glory in the Northern U19s Alliance Central Division last season.

“We want to establish a conveyor belt of players who can progress right from under-7s level,” said Rose.

“The plan is to set new junior teams up, it might not be this season now but that’s the plan.

“It’ll take a while to pay off for us, I’ll have probably moved on when it does, but it’s important for the club to have something like that in place.”

The Blues return to pre-season training on Tuesday, July 3 and Rose will start his assessment of the club’s young stars.

Meanwhile, Rose has revealed the club is close to finalising two more pre-season friendly matches.

Frickley have already penned in summer matches against Hemsworth MW, Bridlington Town and Stourport Swifts.

And they’re hoping to add Evo-Stik Premier League sides Garforth Town and Ossett Albion to that list.

“We’re finalising details on those two matches, dates are still to be confirmed,” he said.

“I’m still looking to add a couple more friendly matches to those and we’ll probably arrange some matches for the under-19s to play in.”

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.