Robert Martinez has shown has offered eleven young professionals new deals to give them a chance to progress to the first team. The gaffer has said in the past that he wants to nurture 18-22 year olds and this move shows his ambition for Wigan Athletic to have a bright young future.
Bobby’s vision of producing 2 to 3 young starlets every season has taken a massive boost today as he gives eleven youngsters new professional deals and in the process keeping some promising talent at the club.
The manager has always stated that footballers should be allowed to develop as their true talent is generally not realised until they in their twenties and he has now backed this up with this move.
The club statement confirms that Wigan Athletic has offered professional playing contracts to eleven of its most promising youngsters, while seven new 16 year-old scholars have also been recruited.
Jon Routledge and Joe Holt have been given another year to impress after a good season for the reserves and on loan at Swedish club Osterunds FK, whilst contract extensions have also been offered to Spanish defender and striker Roman Golobart and Abian Serano, striker Callum McMananan and left sided defender/midfielder Daniel Redmond. There is also another year for left-back Jordan Mustoe, who was on the bench against Hull City and Chelsea at the end of the season.
First time contract offers have been made to defender Adam Buxton, Youth Team Player of The Season in 2008-09, Northern Ireland Under 19s midfielder Jonathan Breeze, midfielder Daniel Lambert, striker Jordan Rugg and defender Josh Langley, son of Latics legend and record league appearance-holder, Kevin Langley.
Roberto Martinez has re-emphasised his commitment to developing young talent, with outstanding individual and team performances in both the Reserve and Youth teams throughout the season.
“Over the last 12 months we’ve given a lot of attention to that group of players and we’re going to make sure that we continue developing them next season,” he said.
“I feel we should be getting players into the First-Team on a yearly basis and it’s been really refreshing to see how the Reserve and Youth Team have played this year, with their performances in the last three months of the season showing a real improvement.
“The concepts we’re trying to give them have become very clear and that is vital. In the 18-22 age-group there are players who clearly have the potential to play in the First-Team and it’ll be down to them to make it happen.
“We’ll create the right environment for them to fulfil their potential, sending them on-loan when we have to, watch them adapt to different circumstances and I’m sure the structure we have in place for them will see them develop strongly.”
He added: “At the moment I feel there is a problem in the English game in terms of the young talent coming through. We need to help the young players a little bit more and help them progress into the First Team.
“At Wigan Athletic we have some fantastic potential. Joe Holt and Jon Routledge have been playing their football in Sweden, a very demanding league, and come back having added more to their game.
“Then you look at Jordan Mustoe, and the way he’s developed over the last season means he’s deserved the place in the senior squad for the final games of the season.
“The work being done by the Centre of Excellence and everyone involved with our young players has been excellent and our focus is on continuing that work, giving players the best possible chance of progressing to the next level.”
The Youth players to be released after completing their scholarships are Tommy Amos, Jonathan Crane, Steve Chiocchi, David Mayer, and Michael Jukes. Nick Meace, who was a young professional, has also not been retained.
Martinez said: “It’s the worst job in football to tell players they no longer have a future here, but hopefully they can use the lessons they have learned here to develop their careers elsewhere and we wish them all the best. The club always supports its released youngsters as well as it can.”
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