Karl Robinson revealed youth will play a large part in pre-season and the forthcoming 2013/14 campaign.
The Dons boss praised his new Head of Coaching Gary Waddock for his track record of nurturing young players and developing them into talented professional footballers.
With Waddock on board, Robinson was in a buoyant mood as his players returned to the training pitch yesterday and revelled in the number of Academy-graduates at Woughton on the Green.
The likes of Tom Flanagan, George Baldock, Daniel Powell, Dele Alli, Adam Chicksen – who has not yet penned a deal to stay at the Club – and Brendan Galloway were all involved with the first team fitness and training drills and Robinson hinted that they could all play a large part in his plans.
Speaking to the media, Robinson said: “We looked at our squad and we felt in coaching terms we needed him to coach the younger players through, we’ve got one of the youngest squads we’ve had for a long time.
“Six out of the 17 today have come through the youth system, make that eight if you include Dean Lewington and David Martin, and that’s a remarkable achievement for a young Club. We’re proud of that and want to improve over the course of the year and I’m sure it will be something that will benefit the younger players learning from a very good coach.”
Robinson also explained that Ian Wright, who worked as a part-time coach for the Dons last season, will no longer be part of the staff due to his ongoing commitments elsewhere, but fully expects the Arsenal legend to help out on the odd-occasion next season.
“Wrighty’s one of the most unique characters in English football, he’s been a tremendous help to us, but he has big commitments commercially and contracts he’s had for a period of time.
“He’s a good friend of mine and someone I respect immensely and so do the players. He will come in on an ad-hoc basis to offer his words of wisdom.”