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Coates: Stoke remain committed to local youth

Stoke City Chairman Peter Coates has insisted that the Potters fully remain committed to producing players within their own academy.

Stoke seemingly have adopted a new approach of recruiting talented youngsters from abroad in recent times by publicly revealing their intention of signing 19-year old winger Moha El Ouriachi from Barcelona and 15-year old Belgian schoolboy Thibault Verlinden from Standard Liege.

The new recruitment drive has led to criticism that the Staffordshire club are neglecting their own academy but Coates has moved on to refute such claims, insisting that the Potters remain committed towards producing players involved in their own system.

He said in the Stoke Sentinel: "Our main emphasis, from the word go, has always been to bring through talented young boys, particularly local boys, to Stoke City. There is no change in that whatsoever.

"We are 100 per cent in trying to get the best local boys and to give them a chance at Stoke City. It is still early days, but we are very pleased with where we are in terms of the younger ages.

"However, we feel we are perhaps a bit short in the older age group and it is important we bring in quality if we can.

"We want to be competitive, and the older age group has to produce because we are judged on that as an Academy. And while we are always looking close to home for talent, it does not stop you looking around elsewhere."

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