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Harris to continue giving youth a chance

27 March 2015

Homegrown talent should be rewarded for their progress, says Chopper

Interim Millwall manager Neil Harris believes that the club's current crop of homegrown talent should continue to be given the chance to 'prove their worth' in the first team.

This season has seen the likes of Sid Nelson, Jack Powell and Aiden O'Brien make regular appearances for the senior squad, while Fred Onyedinma and Jake Goodman have been enjoying successful loan spells at Wycombe Wanderers and AFC Wimbledon respectively.

And Harris, who included young forward Jamie Philpot in the matchday squad for the first time last weekend, says it is vital that the club's youngsters are provided with a platform to impress on the senior stage.

"We have got players who are coming through and who have performed consistently in what is reserve team football in a good standard League," he said.

"Opportunities should be given to those players to prove their worth and stake a claim to play in the first team regularly.

"At the moment, with the likes of young Sid and Jack, we have young players coming through and they have performed all season at a good level. Opportunities for them will definitely come."

Harris has been full of praise for Philpot, who he says comes into his thinking for the squad's Championship run-in.

"Jamie has done extremely well in the U21s," he said. "He is still a schoolboy and hasn't finished his apprenticeship yet, but he has earned the right to be in that squad by consistent performances and by scoring goals.

"He fits into the style of play we're using at the moment. He has played like that for the last two years within our Academy so the sooner we get him into the group - if he warrants it - the better for him and for the club."

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