Freedman: Next generation of Crystal Palace stars will get their chance
Dougie Freedman will be taking a step into the unknown as he looks to blood more youngsters this season.
The Crystal Palace manager said a new generation is emerging from the Eagles’ ranks and is keen to give them a chance.
Sean Scannell and Lee Hills have both left the club with Nathaniel Clyne looking set for a move to the Premiership – with either West Ham United or Aston Villa – having not signed a new contract.
The trio all came through the youth ranks at a similar time and are held in high regard by Palace fans, but Freedman assured supporters the next crop of youngsters could be the best yet.
“You have to move people on; it is as simple as that. From a fans point of view I understand there are favourite players, but they also have to put a lot of trust into the academy and myself,” he said.
“Not for one second would I have let Hills or Scannell go if I hadn’t looked at my board to see the amount of young players that will be pushing for the squad next year.
“I need to see Matty Parsons, Kyle de Silva, Jonny Williams, Ryan Innis, Alex Wynter and Reise Allassani.
“I have got seven or eight players there who need to be given a chance.
“Someone has to make a decision for the next generation coming through and that someone is me.”
He said: “On one hand you have decent players on your books and on the other you have the unknown and we need to see what the unknown is like.
“If you don’t see what the unknown is like then you will never progress. That is the way I played the game and it applies to the owners who took a chance on me.”
The Crystal Palace manager added he is close to signing one more new player by the end of the week - having added 32-year-old Norwich City striker Aaron Wilbraham to his ranks on Wednesday - as he bids to add more experience to his roster for the coming campaign, which kicks off at home to Watford on August 18.
Freedman also said he was disappointed that Wilfried Zaha did not make the GB Olympic squad, but added the fact he was considered shows how much he progressed last year.