Gilligan has suggested that there was a very simple common theme running through all of Nottingham Forest’s teams last time round, which was integral to the development of all teams; hard work.
Gilligan has also dispelled the idea that it’s difficult to get the most out of players as they buy into the philosophy of a new manager, with first team boss Dougie Freedman yet to complete a full half season in charge of the first team.
“It was really an exceptional time for the academy last year – A lot of really hard work went on at the training ground, I think all of the teams got their rewards for hard work and I think it shows that if you do the right thing and the training is right, the players will buy into what you’re doing,” he told Forest Player.
Standards can’t drop
Gilligan is now part of the first team setup under Freedman heading into the new season, which creates the worry for the coach and some fans, that the standards he demanded with his youth role could now drop.
Forest can’t allow that to happen because of how important it is for Freedman and the club to have a sustainable supply line of younger players who can come into the first team ranks and perform effectively.
Forest are not in a position where they can sign new players freely with large amounts of cash, which means it’s vital that the younger players are of a certain standard that allows them to be competitive.
There are already good examples in the form of Tyler Walker, Ben Osborn and Olly Burke and hopefully more will follow.