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Jolley Ready To Blood Youngsters

24 March 2015

Michael Jolley believes it is time for his young guns to seize the moment.

A youthful Burnley Development Squad host Newcastle United on Tuesday afternoon at Gawthorpe in their latest behind-closed-doors friendly.

CLICK HERE to see all the Development Squad Fixtures.

And with the majority of the first team squad training in Spain in preparation for their crucial Premier league run-in, the Clarets’ Senior Professional Development Phase Coach has thrown down the gauntlet for the club’s young talent to make an impression.

Jolley, whose main objective is to develop players from the youth team to the first team squad, said:

"We have come to the time of the season where we want to push the younger players as much as we can.

“The whole idea of the Academy is to get as many players through the system to the first team as we can and taking the U18s up to the U21s is a big step.

“I have seen the youth team and the U16s play a lot and I try to watch as many of the Academy games as I can because we need to know what we have got in the Academy.

“I know all of the U18 players really well and I know what talent we have in there, so what we do try to do is to plan pathways for our younger players, so we can work out where we have got gaps and see who our best players are and if they have got a chance of getting into the first team.”

Despite the Clarets selecting a blooming side, the opposition could still include several experienced players.

But Jolley stressed that whoever pulls on the claret shirt must play the Burnley way!

Jolley added: “One of the things about Development games is that you just never know what sort of opposition you are up against.

“You could be up against a team full of first team players who aren’t currently playing for the first 11, or you could face a lot of U18s.

“What’s important for us is that whoever we are up against, it has got to look like a Burnley team with a Burnley identity to it.

“One of the important parts of my job is that whoever is playing for the development squad has to understand what we are after in terms of the Burnley way of playing and go deliver that.

“The benefit of playing against better players is that you can learn lessons from the games.

“What has been good this season is that we have played against some really strong teams, like Hull last week, who played a team full of Premier League experience and we performed really well.

“But for your lads to get success and win games you want your lads to play against your peers as well, so having a mixture of opposition is the best thing.

The game, which takes place at 1pm, will be followed by a match report, a gallery and reaction from Michael Jolley.

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