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Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett to give young players a chance next season

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 19, 2014

By David Broome

STEPPING UP ... Burton's Matty Palmer forced his way into first-team contention

STEPPING UP ... Burton's Matty Palmer forced his way into first-team contention

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GARY Rowett is keen to give youth its chance this season.

Over the last two years, Burton Albion's academy has started to produce some players who are clearly capable of playing at League Two level.

Matty Palmer forced his way into the Brewers' first-team last season and stayed there, while Marcus Harness featured towards the end of the season and Liam Slade made a brief cameo.

This pre-season, fans have seen the likes of Joe Doyle, Mark Shelton, Sam Austin and Jack O'Brien feature, and all look comfortable mixing it with the senior players.

"This season, we're looking more at whether we can bring the young ones into those positions," said Rowett.

"Marcus Harness certainly can, and most of the lads would say that in pre-season, he's been one of the best players in every session.

"He's had a little taste of it last season and I've got big hopes for him.

"He can be in the squad, Joe Doyle can be in the squad. We saw the potential Liam Slade has got, if he can just piece it all together.

"Rather than sign three or four players, I'd rather bring three or four who've come through our system.

"If they have to make the numbers up or make the bench, or make the team, then that's what they have to do."

Last season, Burton had a number of fringe players, such as Jack Dyer, Michael Symes, David Gray and Ashley Hemmings, who never really forced their way into the first-team.

For the 2014-15 campaign, Rowett hopes to use youth team players to fill those roles, as well as using the academy _ rather than a swathe of trialists – to pad out his squads for pre-season games.

"We had three trialists in last weekend and all three of them we decided not to bother with any further," said the Brewers boss.

"That's something I'm conscious of this season – that I won't want five or six trialists here for two or three weeks that impinges on the work we do.

"What we need to make sure is that we make a quick decision on them and we've got a good group this year, so I think it's going to be easier to do that.

"You could try to make the team stronger by getting four or five trialists in, but I don't see the point in doing that.

"We've got good young players and we want to try to develop them."

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