The Evo-Stik League Southern
Published 6th July 2012
.....youngsters to remain at Ladysmead and fight for a first-team spot in the coming season.
Saunders spoke out after members of last season's under-18 squad returned to pre-season training alongside the first-team last week.
The former Plymouth Argyle midfielder revealed he would be looking to blood several youngsters this coming season – provided they choose to remain at Ladysmead to fight for a starting spot and not leave for more money elsewhere. "We could use more players from the youth team this season, but it's down to them. If people start waving pound notes under their noses, then they might move on," Saunders said. "But, if they want to have a go at playing first-team football for a good club, then I'm not going to be afraid to put them in the first team."
Saunders added: "We also had a few reserve players training with us and they looked good, but they need to get themselves fitter.
"They were quite fit, but they need to get fitter if they want to play. A few of them thought they were fit enough to play, but they were some way behind the first-team lads."
Saunders also revealed that striker Michael Nardiello's proposed move to Torquay United appears to be off. He said: "Nothing has come of Nards' move, which is a shame for him, but, if he can get fitter and better than he was for us last season, then maybe he will get that little bit of luck."
Another forward has been given a clear message by Saunders, who added: "I've also said to Jules Emati-Emati that, if he can get himself in the shape he was in the last few months of last season, then he will be the first name down on the team-sheet. If he comes back in the shape he was in the first few months of last season, then he will probably be the last name on the team-sheet!"
Saunders was pleased with the turn-out of players last week. He said: "A few of them were away either on holiday or at weddings, but everyone who said they were going to be there was there. We had central defender Paul Kendall with us, so hopefully he will be staying, because he was very good for us last season."