Allen – The future is bright

Notts County

Notts County manager Martin Allen is excited by the potential of the teenage players at the club.

Allen gave one-year professional contracts to youth-teamers Haydn Hollis, George Nicholas and Liam Mitchell in the summer. He later signed his son, Charlie, on a 12-month deal and has since ensured that all four have played first-team football this season.

Goalkeeper Mitchell, 19, and Nicholas, an 18-year-old midfielder, were both loaned to non-league Lewes, defender Hollis played three games for Conference side Barrow and scored on his debut and midfielder Allen, 19, has played five games in League One for Notts.

Allen is confident the youngsters can all make the step-up into the first team, he told the Nottingham Post: “I made a pledge to bring those boys through and I had a lovely morning last week training all the young players and the second-year scholars when all the pros had the day off.

“It was a beautiful sunny day and there was no tension, no game to win. It was just about me helping develop the young players and I really enjoyed it. These young boys have been out playing competitive football and now they are back and training with the first team, which is great for them.

“We have moved a group of players out, with all due respect to those lads, so now their places in training have gone to these young boys. They are getting better and better, which was obviously my long-term goal.”