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Shining lights

Posted: Mon 22 Oct 2012

Callum Reilly

Image by: Roy Smiljanic

Lee Clark has spoken of his delight at the way the club's young players have stepped up and performed in the first team.

A host of injuries to senior players have seen the Blues boss give a number of the club's former academy players the opportunity to shine at first team level.

Mitch Hancox and Will Packwood have both performed admirably when called upon and they are now joined in the squad by 19-year-old Callum Reilly (pictured above).

The midfielder was issued with a squad number ahead of the trip to Millwall. 

"I’m bringing Callum Reilly into the group," said Clark. “Whether he’s part of the 18 tomorrow remains to be seen, but it’s a boost to him that he’s travelling with the squad.

"That’s one of the shining lights for me this season in terms of getting these lads from the academy and giving them their full league debuts etc. With the exception of the front two on Saturday we had a very young team out there.

"Even though there have been one or two issues this season (with injuries) that’s been a big positive for the club because it means that we’ve got good quality players, which is my aim anyway."
Mitch Hancox 16x9
Clark continued: "I want a young vibrant squad. Whether you go out and get them which we know sometimes is difficult, or you produce your own which is ideal.

"I said at the start when I took over that I don’t look at the birth certificates - whether they’re old or young, I just look at what they bring to the group and their attributes.

"I’m a big fan of Mitch because I know what this club means to him and I know he’d run through the proverbial brick wall for it. And it’s the same with the other boys who have come through the academy because I can see their passion and drive for the club.

"We’ve got to be proud with representing the club and what it’s about and get out there and give the supporters something to shout about."