From The Mersey To The Meadows

One of the things i’m looking to do with The Notts Blog this season is to bring in more guest writers, it never hurts to have others contributing to the site.

The first of those is Dave Straw, who wanted to take a look at both Notts’ and Tranmere Rovers’ use of their local neighbours excess talent ahead of tomorrow’s night’s League One fixture at Meadow Lane.

18th and 19th in League 1, an abandoned game and a pair of 1-0 away wins largely against the run of play.

Hardly events that’ll last long in the memory but it does signify two teams on a very similar level – while the clubs are overshadowed by their cross river neighbours, both have taken advantage of the emerging talent in the areas.

Summer signing Hamza Bencherif made no bones about how Nottingham “was his city” upon signing, (Forest background) and let’s not forget our own Craig Westcarr, another former Red.

Tranmere are also a club making the most of their local pool of talent; Dale Jennings, whose summer transfer to German giants Bayern Munich (in a deal rumoured to be worth £1.7million) is one of the stories of close season; The former Liverpool player developing his considerable talent with Tranmere after failing to make the grade across the Mersey with Liverpool.

While the development of young talent is at the forefront of every club’s plans, let’s not forget that Notts County lost considerable talent with the closure of the Centre of Excellence, resulting in the loss of huge prospects including Tom Huddlestone & Leon Best.

The success of last season’s youth team is well documented and it’s testament to the quality of the youngsters in the number handed professional contracts by the club for the season ahead, as well as impressing during pre season friendlies – Haydn Hollis and Curtis Thompson both with strong displays against higher league opposition.

Despite experiencing a contrasting season, Tranmere’s youth team have also provided players worthy of professional contracts, Max Power & Andy Coughlin adding to a side complemented by young talent courtesy of Joss Labadie and Ash Taylor (who’s been with the club for ten years).

With both clubs seeing the emergence of young and talented players, some worthy of the “stars of the future” tagline so often used by the media, as proof that good young players can flourish in an environment outside of the top flight.

In the case of Dale Jennings, all they need is a chance to shine.

You can catch Dave blogging on his own site here. If you wish to contribute to TNB, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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