Coach Pat is looking for more of his players to progress through the ranks to the reserve team this season.
“When I analysed things at the end of last season not enough boys broke though to that reserve group,” reflected Pat.
“I asked myself was that because other players were blocking their way or that the lads need to improve their own performances to get in there?
“I look to the latter because I know if there is an outstanding youth team player the club will always want to move him through the ranks.
“So it’s up to the individual. This season I’m looking for lads to come through and be knocking on Clive Allen’s door and then the next hurdle is to impress Martin Jol and Chris Hughton.
“Football never stands still and next season I want to see players moving up and leaving a chance for the players coming through behind them.”
Pat expects a ‘very competitive’ opener at Stoke but travels to the Potteries without injured quartet Troy Archibald-Henville, Richard Heller, Nathan Peprah and Radwan Hamed.
“It’s a shame to be without those four but it gives other lads an opportunity,” added Pat.
“We’ve got a new system, a 4-3-3, that we’ve been trying to bed in and we’ll see how it develops.
“We had Stoke looked at last week in a friendly and they lined-up 4-4-2 and we’ll come up against that system time and time again — it’s about how we use our system to get the advantage.”
Pat Holland has thrown down the gauntlet to his Academy squad on the eve of their league opener at Stoke tomorrow.