Darren Moore delivered a glowing assessment of Albion’s Academy graduates after they starred in the goalless draw with Premier League Brighton.
The Baggies fielded four home-grown youngsters in the starting XI against the Seagulls in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round, with a further three taking their place on the bench.
Rekeem Harper, Sam Field and Kyle Edwards all completed 90 minutes at the Amex Stadium, Jonathan Leko was replaced moments before the end and 18-year-old forward Rayhaan Tulloch came on with 10 left on the clock to make his debut.
And the boss was understandably delighted to see a number of “mature” displays throughout his young team.
He said: “I’m really, really pleased.
“There were seven Academy graduates involved in the matchday squad today and I think we had five on the pitch at one point.
“I was really pleased with the performance of the Academy players.
“For Academy players so young in age, they definitely showed a maturity today and they should all feel proud of the performance they put in.
“I can’t complain and I’m really proud of them. It’s a proud day for the Club and for the Academy.
“I thought their work-rate off the ball was excellent and when they had it at their feet they displayed wonderful skill and ability to manage it against really good opposition.
“We’ve kept all the young players in and around the first-team squad from day one.
“We’ve been developing them behind the scenes and they’ve been growing in stature.
“The opportunity presented itself today and it was a real firm step forward in terms of performance.”