BURY’S young hopefuls have been told to write off the summer if they want to force their way into the senior side.
Teenagers Marcus Poscha, Scott Burgess, Anthony Dudley and Regan Walker were handed a taste of first-team action at the end of the last campaign.
But manager David Flitcroft has left them in no uncertain terms that they must bulk up and improve their fitness if they want to make the step up on a more permanent basis next season.
“All the young lads who featured in the final two games had been outstanding in training and deserved their chance, they really did,” said the Bury boss.
“Now they have got 18 sessions that they will do over the summer with our strength and conditioning team, who will be in every week.
“So they are going to have a massive summer in terms of getting stronger, getting more powerful, getting fitter and I am expecting them to be at the front of everything we do when we come back.”
When Flitcroft arrived at the club last December he promised to focus his attention not only on the first team but on the club as a whole.
Chairman Stewart Day has backed his vision by making building a new training complex a top priority.
In the future, the Shakers management team want to have a facility big enough to allow every side – from the under-9s right up to the first team – to train together.
The first stage of that plan was the recruitment of a new youth team coach to oversee that development.
Ryan Kid was brought in to do that and Flitcroft believes his appointment is already bearing fruit, but he has warned the club’s current youth-teamers that, ultimately, they are the ones who will have to put in the effort to progress.
“The youth team is something that has not been looked at at this football club for a long time,” he said.
“Bringing Ryan Kid in was brilliant because it has given me a real consolidation and synergy with the youth players, getting to know them.
“But because that side of things has been neglected for so long, our current youth teamers are playing catch up.
“So it is going to be a difficult summer for all the young lads, but they have got to sacrifice their summer to become stronger.”