Indeed, Forest's Under-21s side has achieved plenty this year - but Gilligan says he has assured his players the 'end game' is what they can achieve in terms of breaking into the first team at the City Ground.
Gilligan said: “It’s great to have won the league, it’s great to have got into the semi-finals of the play-offs.
“But to see Tyler Walker score at Brentford, to see Jorge Grant do the same at Tottenham, to see Oliver Burke make his debut at Blackpool and then to have Roger Riera, your captain, on the bench against Cardiff City - that’s the end game and I’ve told the players that.”
The future certainly does look bright for Nottingham Forest's youngsters. Having won their Under-21s league, Forest's academy is clearly brimming with talent.
But there is a bonus in itself for those at the City Ground in that first-team manager Dougie Freedman is so keen on blooding young players within his senior side.
Freedman has previously admitted he is keen to play as many young players as he can at Nottingham Forest and it should certainly provide him with a useful option in terms of squad depth next season, although the Forest boss will no doubt bear in mind a balance between over-using them and giving them the optimum amount of game time.