Richards: Youngsters can thrive

28th May 2018
Under-21s

Gary Richards believes the door could be open for a fresh crop of young players to prove themselves at first-team level in the Championship next season.

Development youngsters Adnan Maric, Daniel James and Connor Roberts all made their first-team debuts for the Swans in 2017-18, while striker Oli McBurnie scored nine times in 17 Championship appearances on loan at Barnsley.

And Richards, who helped the Swans under-23s to a fourth-place finish in Premier League 2 in the season just gone, believes more young Swans could make their mark in 2018-19.

“Relegation is hard to take but it could be an opportunity for some of our younger players to go and establish themselves within the first team,” Richards said.

“The academy is there to make sure we are developing players to progress into first-team football.

“It has been great to see Connor Roberts, Daniel James and Adnan Maric – players who have played at academy level – make their senior Swans debuts this season.

“We are hopeful that more players from the development set-up get given an opportunity.

“The Championship will be a tough league but I believe that some of the players who impressed last season could prove themselves.

“This group are very ambitious and all want to play for the first team, so I think given continued hard work and an opportunity, a few under-23s players could perform at that level.”