Darren Ferguson has stressed the need for Doncaster Rovers to start producing their own young players after handing teenager Danny Amos his first professional contract.
The 17-year-old left-footer, who can play in a variety of positions, made his first senior start last month in the Checkatrade Trophy against Scunthorpe United and has impressed the Rovers coaching staff.
With limited budgets in League One, Rovers boss Ferguson is all too aware of the need to develop their own young talent.
“From day one, when I joined the club, I needed to bring players through,” he said. “That’s why I made the necessary changes at that level.
“It’s desperately important for myself, and the club, that we get these young players through.
“There has to be improvement, everyone knows that, but we are seeing signs.
“You have to be careful how early you give players contracts.
“With Danny he is a very level-headed boy, and it won’t change him one iota. “He will continue working hard, trying to improve his game.
“He can play in different positions, has shown a real maturity, and I think he has been excellent. He fully deserves this, now he has to kick on.”
Amos - who made his debut for Northern Ireland Under-19s this season - has signed a deal which will keep him at the Keepmoat Stadium until 2019.
Amos said: “It’s fantastic to get this sorted, and it is a dream come true to sign for Rovers.
“Darren Ferguson is a manager who can really bring young players along, and this is a great club to continue my development.
"I want to say a big thanks to the rest of the youth team, ever since I came in they welcomed me and I couldn't ask for a better set of lads and staff - Paul Stancliffe, John Schofield, Kieran Scarff and Mick Tarmey have all been brilliant.
“I took a lot of confidence from playing for Northern Ireland, which you could see when I scored with a late winner in the youth team then got my first start in the first-team.
“But now it is all about working hard every day to make the most of the opportunity I have.”