Dundee boss Neil McCann insists he is determined youth will continue be given the chance to shine at Dens.
The manager handed debuts to teenagers Matty Henvey and Jack Lambert recently, throwing them in at the deep end on Boxing Day against champions Celtic at Dens.
McCann was adamant there was no sentiment involved in his decision – it was simply a fitting reward for the way both had been playing for the club’s Under-20s.
When the manager was starting out as a player for the Dark Blues, he was also given an opportunity at an early age.
He is determined that policy will continue now he is boss – but only if the kids are good enough to deserve recognition.
McCann said: “I have introduced young Jack and Matty into the fold so it gives me another two from the youths that I think are starting to make impacts into the first team.
“I think they can add something to our squad.
“I have said it is imperative that we have a pathway for our kids to come through.
“Matty has been scoring goals for the 20s and Jack has also been showing up really, really well and catching the eye.
“He had a few weeks off with a broken hand but he is back in and looking sharp.
“But it is important the kids here – and even youngsters from elsewhere that we can maybe look to attract – know this is a club and a place where you can come and develop.
“So I am not frightened to throw kids in.
“It wasn’t just a gift to those two boys, making their debuts. I felt they could impact the game because of the qualities they bring.”
McCann added: “I think there is a pathway if you are coming through the youth system.
“You look at Cammy Kerr as an inspirational figure, you look at Kerr Waddell coming into the first team.
“You can also look at Glen Kamara and Mark O’Hara who are both also still young.
“There are boys in our team who are at a young age but have played a number of games now.
“It is up to those boys (in the youth set-up) to say, ‘I want some of that’.
“I made my debut here when I think I was just 18 and it has always been a place where you will get a chance and I really want to promote that.
“But they have to be good enough.”