MICK Wadsworth is eager to strike the right balance between youth and experience as he puts the finishing touches to his new-look Chester City squad.
The Blues manager has brought in five new faces so far and plans to draft in a few more recruits before the Conference season kicks-off on August 8.
But Wadsworth will not let his squad get top-heavy with experienced pros – because there are some good home-grown players already on the books.
He said: “The one thing I don’t want is too many players closing down doors for young players to come through.
“I’m a big believer in youth development and I’m not frightened to play young players. There’s no point in having a youth programme if there’s no room to bring them through.
“That’s not an excuse for having a small squad – it’s an absolutely sound reason for having a small squad.”
Youth team products Kevin Roberts, Shaun Kelly and Glenn Rule already have plenty of first-team experience, while the likes of Lloyd Ellams and James Owen are expected to push on next season.
They will battle for a starting place with a clutch of summer recruits, who will all get a run-out in Saturday’s friendly at Marine (3pm ko).
Former Bury striker Glynn Hurst is on trial with Chester and should feature at College Road, while Wadsworth may also be able to call on ex-Bradford City defender Mark Bower, 29, and Uruguayan forward Fabian Yantorno, 26. The City boss held transfer talks with Bower yesterday and was hopeful that Yantorno’s switch would be finalised today.
Admission for the Marine game is £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.
The Blues take on a Liverpool XI at the Deva on Tuesday (7.45pm ko) and admission is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.