Squad age

So far this season we have played 16 players (excluding loans) who are aged 25 or under. I know that some on the list only have contracts to the end of the season, but the future looks bright(er).

Liam Roberts
Zak Jules
Dan Scarr
Kory Roberts
Callum Cockerill-Mollett
Shay Facey
Liam Kinsella
Cameron Norman
Alfie Bates
Jack Nolan
Wes McDonald
Josh Gordon
Elijah Adebayo
Sam Perry
Joe Willis
James Hardy

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And from what the Manager said on Thursday that is likely to be the blueprint for the future…2 or 3 seasoned players with a good sprinkling of younger professionals. I think it is the best way forward for our club.


And those lads are holding their own in League Two. They will only improve.


I hope we build the team/squad around these players. This is the way to go.

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Good thread. I think the manager is getting things right. Using all the squad here. Being slightly negative there are not many who really excite and are complete standout players. But on the other hand there are loads that i feel are good enough to get us up from this division. If not this season, Then next time. And there is only 1 player that i regard as rubbish.

This is good and very similar to what Dean smith built but it took him almost 5 years and fans moan about Clarke ? Give the man time he’s a good manager and will do a job for us long term.


I feel like we’ve got a good base of players. Not perfect by any means, but I can definitely see a better side than I did three months ago.

Could do with just one or two more players with real quality to push us on.


It’s great that we are doing this but in order for it to work we need to:

  1. Be able to spot players with potential
  2. Find players with the mentality to want to reach their potential
  3. Have coaches able to bring players up to their potential

I think we have the best manager in the league for this which is why I’m glad that Clarke has the backing of the board.

Don’t get me wrong, each player will have bad games, some will start slow and then begin to grow, some will find their feet early and plateu. It would be wise if we only judged players after around 100 games when they have found their feet. And I hope at that point Clarke starts to feed the next stars into the team. This is why it is a building project.

Reminds me a little like Eddie Howe a Bournemouth. Took a load of kids from academies. Gave them game time and coaching. The same squad that played us in league 1 pretty much played their first game in the PL.

Looking forward to the project.

I agree.

I would add a number 4 to your list.

And that would be that it requires a set of fans who can see what is developing and not get too angsty when young lads learning their jobs have a poor game.

Bates for example has just begun to show signs of playing with a bit of fear. We’ve got to ensure that any such fear isn’t as a result of anything they hear from the stands. Yes we all want to win every game but we’re nowhere near that yet.

From my perspective, I’m delighted that I can see the emergence of a plan and some really decent progress. It isn’t enough to get us even close to the promotion picture this season but a top half finish is eminently achievable and at the start of the season I’d have taken that.

Really importantly, it feels like we’re all pulling in the same direction from the chairman down.

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100% agree. I said at the start of the season that Bates looked every bit like he was the next thing off the production line but that he would have a run of bad games. Good managers see the signs and pull the player out. I don’t think Bates will be in the starting line up now for a couple of games and that’s the right thing to do for his development. It should drive him to work harder to get back into the side and teach him what he’s done to be in the side and what he needs to improve to stay in and be consistent.

But obviously, I apply this logic to all players in the list at the beginning of the thread because physical age is one thing but league games is another marker of inexperience and we need to bare in mind that the Adebayo & Hardys although older than Bates, are still young in experience terms and we need to allow their potential some time to develop.


This is very important

I definitely think we’re moving in the right direction, we have the right people in key positions at the club, all aiming for the same goal…move the club forward.
The tree that was planted last May is beginning to bare fruit, the fruit is not ready to eat yet but it won’t be too much longer before it is ripe.