Dyche wants return to reserve set up
Clarets boss Sean Dyche was youth coach of Monday's opponents Watford, before taking over the reins as first team boss five years ago.
And though results are very much the priority for Dyche at Turf Moor, he remains keen to nurture young talent.
However, he feels the end of the Football League’s emergency loan window hinders that development.
Dyche, who came through the ranks at Nottingham Forest, is an advocate of a return to the old style Central League system, where reserve teams from clubs in their respective area played each other, before the FA Premier Reserve League was created, restricting opponents.
And Dyche is not quite sure what the future holds. The Clarets currently have youngsters Alex Whitmore, Ntumba Massanka, Tom Anderson, Fredrik Ulvestad, Josh Ginnelly, Dan Agyei and Chris Long at Football League clubs, as well as George Green and Luke Hendrie at Kilmarnock. But those decisions had to be made before the window closed, and Dyche said: “I do think that’s bizarre, how do you develop young players unless they get experience playing real football?
“You can’t cheat your way to real football. I hope it morphs into a better version of old reserve football. I learned playing at Nottingham Forest.
“Brian Clough took it really seriously, we were in the Central League, it was big news, 3,000 at the City Ground, and I’m playing with a Steve Chettle, Brian Laws, Garry Parker, a young Gary Charles, Terry Wilson, Mark Crossley, Lee Glover - good players.
“Mentally these games were important, playing away at Everton and Liverpool.
“You learned a lot from those players, warts and all. About all the professional quirks, as well as tactical formats and the game, and I hope it goes back that way, there are thoughts it might filter back.
“Reserve team football has been done down for a while, but they’re now realising development football, without loans, how do you develop into the reality of what it is?
“Playing against someone who’s out of the team at Liverpool and has the hump, trust me, he comes and puts you on your backside, and that is a learning curve.
“That might drift in because they’ve shut the loan system.”
Dyche has blooded 18-year-old Australian midfielder Aiden O’Neill this season, but Jay Rodriguez is the last real success story from within the youth ranks.
Dyche admitted: “The challenge of walking onto a Premier League pitch is very difficult. We have Aiden O’Neill here, but it’s rare to see 18-year-olds on the pitch at this level.
“It starts with what we do here, and when we think they’re ready, they get experience on loan.
“Harry Kane had been out at Leicester and Norwich and not played a lot, back in and he catches fire. Who’s to say those experiences didn’t round him to be more impressive than if he had really good experiences? You go back then and think it’s easy, but he had tough experiences and you think you’ve got to work hard, get fit, stronger, and he was a different animal.”