Fleetwood Town’s departed boss John Sheridan told the club’s younger players to follow the example set by Lewie Coyle if they want a successful future in the game.
One of Sheridan’s last moves as Town head coach was to give England Under-17 World Cup winner Billy Crellin and development squad striker Joao Morelli spots on the bench for their final-day 2-0 win over Walsall.
Fleetwood had already secured League One safety before the game, though neither player came off the bench, nor did development squad defender Nathan Sheron.
Sheridan said: “It is good that there are one or two young players around.
“Young Joao was on the bench too but it is tough to get out there and be a first- team player.
“I said to the young players it is a tough game to be successful in and to get a regular spot in the team.
“That is what you have got to be aiming for, doing things properly, and that is why I keep mentioning the likes of Coyle.
“There are some good young players here. It is important you bring them on and give them the opportunity when it comes.”
Two of Town’s established development squad players did break through during Sheridan’s 13-games at the helm.
Jack Sowerby managed to get regular playing time after Sheridan arrived in February, starting 10 of his games in charge and netting the only goal in Town’s win at AFC Wimbledon. Another young midfielder who had opportunities was Harrison Biggins.
He was chosen by caretaker boss Barry Nicholson for Town’s 2-1 home loss against Portsmouth.
Sheridan took over after that game and the 22-year-old made four substitute appearances prior to getting the nod to start Walsall.
Biggins had previously made only one League appearance off the bench and had four EFL Trophy outings under Uwe Rosler.
Biggins’ progress since arriving from Stocksbridge Park Steels in the summer saw him pen a new contract, which keeps him at the club until 2021.
One young player rewarded with a new deal yesterday was striker Mama Djabi.
The 20-year-old has signed a new one-year contract, with the club having the option of an additional year.
Djabi, who came through the club’s under-18s, had a spell on loan at non-league Lancaster City this season as well as featuring in Paul Murray’s development squad.