Ilkeston FC boss Kevin Wilson backs youngsters to shine

Ilkeston FC manager Kevin Wilson feels that backing their young talent will ensure long-term success.

Wilson told BBC Radio Derby: "We can see the future and hopefully it will be a good, successful time.

"We have an influx of young players who will get their chance this season. We are trying to develop our own."

Former Derby County, Ipswich Town, Chelsea and Northern Ireland striker Wilson added: "We want our own group who can build together and grow together.

"We know with young players there will be ups and downs but we are willing to do it that way and expect them to get better as the season goes on."

But Wilson said nurturing their own talent will not conflict with their attempts to fight for silverware.

"We are focusing our attention on building a squad that is capable of challenging at the top," Wilson added.

"I am ambitious and I want the club to do well. I will not be happy sitting in the lower regions of the league. We want to be challenging and we want to get trophies.

"We want to have a run in the FA Cup and FA Trophy and if we can do that then it is a building block we need to have a solid foundation and I believe we will have that before the start of the season."

Wilson admits there were dark days after Ilkeston Town were wound up because of an unpaid tax bill.

But he said the success of the club's academy provided a much-needed boost.

"We kept the academy going last year and it has been something to focus on," Wilson added.

"The fans took time to warm to it because it wasn't the first team but the academy have done fantastically well and everyone has got behind them.

"I think the supporters have enjoyed the adventure over the last three or four months."

And the fact that the team have not plunged into the deepest depths of non-league football has also been a welcome lift.

"For us it's the best scenario, only dropping two levels, it could have been a lot worse," said Wilson, who along with assistant boss Darren Caskey signed new contracts in December.

"With the infrastructure, with the academy and the business plan put together by the chairman to the FA, it has really helped the club to start to a better level than we thought."

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