Stoke boss Pulis insists he'll play kids - if they're good enough

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis insists he wants to play more young players.

Pulis, who has frequently been criticised for overlooking young players, insists he judges Academy graduates on their ability, not their age.

"People criticised me when I first came for not playing young players," he recalled to The Sentinel, "but how many of those young players who left us went on to be a success elsewhere at the level we have been at?

"I can only think of Ben Foster and Karl Henry. Ben went to Manchester United, and we couldn't stop that, while Karl left for personal reasons, but he remains a friend of our family who came to my son's wedding recently.

"We are about to spend an enormous amount of money (a reported £6m to improve facilities and beef up staffing) on the development side of the football club.

"So what we have to do now is produce young players who are going to be good enough to play in the Premier League.

"And if they are good enough, there will be no-one happier than the chairman, the Coates family and myself because, as we've seen with Andy Wilkinson and Ryan Shotton, right, the crowd love to see locally-born players coming through.

"As far as I'm concerned, if they are good enough, then they will get a chance.

"But at the same time, I won't be playing players just because we have spent a lot of money trying to produce them."

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