Pulis puts faith in youth

Stoke City

Tony Pulis has dismissed reports the club have signed Smajl Sulevic, but says a deal is close as he looks to build the Stoke academy.

The Dalkurd midfielder was quoted as saying he had already put pen to paper on a contract at the Britannia Stadium but the Stoke boss is adamant some loose ends still need to be tied up first before the move is official.

Suljevic has impressed during a recent trial with the Potters and Pulis hopes the academy can continue to pick up top talent in the coming years, with the Stoke boss hopeful more players can be snapped up from closer to home.

“It has not been signed yet, but hopefully it will be done,” said Pulis. “I’ve left it to the academy lads – they think he is a good player with a great chance and we have just backed him really.

“It’s not just him. We’ve had quite had a number of players over the past three or four months who have come in for trials, just to see what their standard is like and how they react to English football.

“We are also making a massive play for the local area and we are working harder than I’ve ever known at this football club in respect of trying to get our own players through the system and in to the team.

“That is something we will really concentrate on in the next few years.”