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Craig Stewart believes youth can flourish at Deveronvale

Deveronvale manager Craig Stewart, left, is keen to give youth a chance.
Deveronvale manager Craig Stewart, left, is keen to give youth a chance.

Craig Stewart believes youth is the way forward for Deveronvale.

The Banffers have promoted eight of the side that won the Highland League Under-18s title to the first-team ranks.

Princess Royal Park boss Stewart reckons the teenagers are ready to make the step up to senior level.

He said: “We’ve signed eight of the U18s team that won the Highland League, we would have liked a couple more of them to sign.

“But at that age guys go off to university and things like that.

“It must be pretty rare for a club to promote eight from the U18s up to the first team.

“Some players will have to go out loan from our squad, but to promote eight that we think have the potential to play in our first-team isn’t something that will happen every season.

“It’s a difficult thing to do, but it’s a unique group of players we had, they’re very good and deserve their promotion.

“Even if you could bring one through a season it would be good work in my opinion because it’s not easy to breakthrough.

“But the youth coaches have done really well and hopefully the players can keep developing.

“I expect the guys to do well, but I know there will be issues with consistency.

“That’s a natural thing with young players, it doesn’t matter who you are.

“It’s something you have to deal with and the more experienced players in the squad will become important to help the young lads with that.

“They’ve fitted in well in pre-season and if they stick with us I think the future is bright for us.”

Contacts key to landing Bashua

Another addition Vale have made is midfielder Sam Bashua.

The 27-year-old midfielder who is originally from Kent joins on a two-year contract from Southern Counties East League Meridian Valley Park.

Bashua has relocated from the south of England to Aberdeen.

Explaining how the transfer came about Stewart added: “I’ve got contacts in various places.

“We had him up training towards the end of last season and he showed up well in a bounce game.

“Credit to him for coming up and he’s now relocated to Aberdeen and he’s signed so we’re looking forward to seeing how Sam gets on.

“I’ve got a contact down there so we managed to suss out a couple of potential options.

“Maybe it’s a gamble, playing in England is different to playing in Scotland but we’ll see how Sam gets on.”

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