Holloway to train regularly with Millwall kids this season

Fred Onyedinma broke through into the team last year. Are more youth players set to follow? Picture by Keith Gillard.

Fred Onyedinma broke through into the team last year. Are more youth players set to follow? Picture by Keith Gillard.

First published in Sport News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , sports editor

Ian Holloway has vowed to work closely with the club’s youngsters this season in order to progress more of them into the first team.

The Lions boss is already seeing first hand in Portugal what the kids are capable of after taking eight to the club’s pre-season summer training camp.

And his monitoring will continue throughout the campaign after Ollie revealed he will be regularly taking part in their coaching sessions.

He said: “They will be doing a full day’s work every day at our training ground and I will be trying to get them in my first team, which is something I’m absolutely determined to do.

“I will work with them in the afternoons.

“We have to find our way of getting our young players into our team and I know our fans will buy into that provided they are good enough.”

Holloway added: “We nearly lost Scott Fitzgerald to Fulham.

“I’m glad he stayed and I think the reason he did is because he cares about the club and believes we are going to be a club for kids coming into the first team and that I’m going to give them a chance first.

“I’ve got all of these wonderful people who work for us and I’ve got to utilise them by trying to get our kids into our team.”

One youngster who did break through to the first team last season was midfielder Fred Onyedinma, who made his full debut against Charlton in mid-March.

The 17-year-old impressed enough  to retain his place the following week at Elland Road but was substituted in his two subsequent appearances against Leeds and Blackburn.

Onyedinma didn't feature at all in April as Holloway went with experienced players during the epic revival which saw the club pull off an unlikely escape act, but the boss has indicated fans can expect to see a lot more of him this year.

“Fred Onyedinmi has already had a go but because where we were in the table at the time it was a confidence thing after his second game, but in his first game he’d already shown what he can do.

“Hopefully I’ll get him into the habits that I want and he will have a chance.

“Fred, Aiden O’Brien and John Marquis will be chomping at the bit ready to get in my team and that’s what I want them to do.

“Hopefully there will be a few more on top of that as well.

“I just like their (youth team players) attitudes. I think their attitudes are worthy of this football club.

“They work their socks off, they care about the club and have a great chance in Portugal to impress me even more and try and get in the squad.”

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