Mark Jackson has said that the Leeds United academy will keep producing talent as another youngster made his first-team debut this week.
Jackson is in his first season in charge of the Whites development system. He stepped up last summer from his role with the U18s.
Niall Huggins, 20, made his debut in the 4-2 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday. Speaking to LUTV, Jackson said it was great to see him play for the senior side.
He said: “It was great to see Niall make his debut at Arsenal – I’m delighted for him just like every other player who is involved in the squad.
“It’s really pleasing for us as an academy to see those young players doing well. We don’t take our foot off the gas. We have to keep pushing them hard every day in training to reach those levels and push them beyond what is required.
“Now the first team are in the Premier League it is really challenging, so we need to push the boundaries all the time.”
Keep them coming
Huggins is the latest success story of our fantastic youth set up.
The Wales U21 international is the 21st player under the age of 21 to be handed a debut since the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa three years ago.
It was good to see the likes of Joe Gelhardt, Jack Jenkins and Charlie Cresswell also involved in the matchday squad.
They joined the likes of Sam Greenwood, Leif Davies and Oli Casey in also being named in squads this season with the first team. It’s a testament to the development structure at the club that so much young talent is involved on a regular basis.
The youngsters will have a long way to go to break into the starting IX, though. Despite the result on the weekend, Leeds are having a fantastic season in the Premier League. A total of 10 wins from 23 games so far have helped us reach 11th in the table.
We’re maybe two wins from safety and then perhaps more youngsters can make their first-team bow.
In other Leeds United news, this supercomputer has predicted where the Whites will finish this season ahead of the clash with Wolves.