Ash Eastham hails Joey Barton's youth policy as a highlight of Fleetwood Town season

Ash Eastham applauds Fleetwood boss Joey Barton for giving youth a chance
Ash Eastham applauds Fleetwood boss Joey Barton for giving youth a chance

Ash Eastham says Fleetwood Town’s young starlets are getting minutes on merit and he praised head coach Joey Barton for giving youth a chance.

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This season has seen Town’s academy products rack up the minutes after Nathan Sheron became the first from the club’s category three academy to feature for the first team.

He made his debut in the 2-0 win over Oxford last August and paved the way for James Hill, Ryan Rydel, Barry Baggley and Ged Garner to make their league debuts in Barton’s first season of management.

For Eastham, a product of Blackpool’s academy, the youth policy is one of the season’s biggest pluses.

The 27-year-old said: “It is brilliant to see. We have all been there at one stage in our career.

“One thing is for sure – this manager will give youth a chance. James Hill, Barry Baggley... there are too many to name.

“But they have all been with us because they are good enough. Age is just a number.

“They train with us regularly and it is down to them to learn and gain experience off us older boys, which we are willing to give. Going forward I think it can only be good for the club.”