Stephen Carr says the progression of young players in the first team is the way forward for the club.
It has certainly been a season of youthful promise this term with the emergence through the ranks of Johnnie Jackson and Rohan Ricketts, as well as Stephen Kelly and Dean Marney sampling first team football on loan in the Nationwide League and in the Premiership for Spurs.
Academy products Lee Barnard, Robert Burch and Mark Yeates have all been rewarded for their performances in the reserves with a place on the bench in recent games, while the likes of Simon Davies, Ledley King, Gary Doherty, Anthony Gardner, Helder Postiga and Robbie Keane are aged 24 and under. Add 21-year-old Jermain Defoe into the mix and the stand-in skipper, at 27, is something of a veteran in the team nowadays.
"I think that is the way forward," reasoned Stephen. "Young players, especially with the pace of the Premiership, are essential. Obviously we've still got people like Gus, who is so fit even at his age and that is a great credit to him.
"With most of the top teams the average age is quite low and it does help, I think, in getting through the games. Having hungry young players is good and you can't ask for any more than that.
"They've all done very well and I'm sure with more chances they will get even better. They will get better as they play more at the right time. Adding Jermain to the squad as well will be a big plus.
"Players that have come in like Johnnie Jackson, Stephen Kelly and Dean Marney have all done well and that is good to see."