Gilligan: Forest have created the perfect link between youth ranks and first team

Nottingham Forest coach Jimmy Gilligan is optimistic about the potential of the club's youth system.

Nottingham Forest youth coach Jimmy Gilligan has suggested on Forest Player that the club has created a perfect chain with their academy.

Gilligan is optimistic that the range of youngsters playing in the under-21 side bodes well for the future of that team, as well as the future of the first team under current boss Dougie Freedman.

The comments are significant because the youth ranks will be one of the main sources for new players that the Scot utilises next season, as the club looks to compete for a position in the top six of the Championship.

“Some are first year scholars and some are very young players – That is a good group of players they have coming through and it will bode well for the under-21s,” said Gilligan.

“Equally it will bode well for the first team that some of them can push on, not necessarily in the next five or six months, but in their careers here.”

There are some good examples of what can be achieved through Forest’s youth system, with Ben Osborn one player who has gone on to become a key feature of the first team.

Roger Riera was on the bench for the game against Cardiff City and there are plenty of other examples of what can be achieved by the club’s younger players if they are prepared to keep their heads down and work hard for the cause.

Gilligan clearly believes that the benefits are more focused on the long term, but the transfer embargo over the club makes the short term benefits just as significant, especially if Freedman can’t make the signings he’ll be hoping for within the restrictions the club has.

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