SKIPPER Jake Buxton was on hand to welcome the latest Academy graduates who will be joining the first team squad next season.
Buxton has signed a new one-year deal with the Brewers while Nathan Morley, Ethan Vale and Ben Hart have signed their first pro contracts.
The three teenagers will follow in the footsteps of Academy graduates Reece Hutchinson, Ben Fox, Joe Sbarra and Marcus Harness and will hope to make the same impact.
Buxton said: “It’s key they get opportunities as without that nobody ever knows. It’s alright just saying ‘if you are good enough you will get a chance’ but if you get a manager who is reluctant to play young kids and who relies on senior pros, they won’t get a chance.
“Our manager has shown at this club and his previous clubs that he is always going to improve them and give them opportunities and then it’s up to them to grasp that chance and make a career out of it.
“For the three lads who have just signed it’s about first impressions. I look back to when I first got my opportunity at Mansfield and it’s about energy, enthusiasm and making sure you give everything you have got and if you fall short playing-wise you will get coached and helped but you have to want to work hard and keep a smile on your face and be over the moon to be at the club and to have got your first pro contract.
“The senior players like myself and Lucas will tell the young lads where they are going wrong. I have spent time this season taking to Ben Fox about how to improve his game and the season before with Joe Sbarra and it’s part and parcel of what I do as I like to get involved and help people. I take great satisfaction out of helping the younger lads.
“All supporters love to see young players coming through the Academy. When they are one of your own it’s special and supporters have a big connection with them which is just one of the reasons why it’s important to keep producing those players. And it’s a great credit to the Academy that we as a club are reaping the rewards from the hard work, they have put in.
“It would be nice to get promoted next season and have some of them young lads lifting a trophy.”