Head coach urges up-and-coming players to push their way into his first-team plans
The head coach took the likes of Saido Berahino, George Thorne, Sam Mantom, Kemar Roofe and James Hurst on the team’s pre-season tour of Scandinavia.
Another Academy graduate, Cameron Gayle, was named on the bench at Barnsley yesterday.
Clarke has now laid down the gauntlet to the members of the club’s development squad, urging them to give him a selection headache by catching his eye during pre-season.
“The younger lads are always playing for a place in the team,” he said.
“That’s their job, to try and impress me, and I’ve used them from the first day of pre-season.
“I took them to Sweden and everyone who was over there could see that they worked well with the group.
“It’s just a little chance for them to get some game time.
“They’re in a little crossover period where they’re not classed as being in the first-team squad but are close to it and are pushing on out of the development group.
“It’s up to them to try and give me a problem if I give them 15 or 20 minutes, or whatever, on the pitch.
“If they show they can handle this level, it bodes well for the future of the club and it’s great for the boys themselves.”