'Definite progression' crucial for Wigan Athletic skipper

Skipper Tenday Darikwa has welcomed the influx of young players who are using pre-season to show the Wigan Athletic management what they can do.
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And whether their immediate future will see them knocking on the first-team door at Wigan or a possible move away, Darikwa says it's a healthy situation for everyone connected with Latics.

Tendayi DarikwaTendayi Darikwa
Tendayi Darikwa
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"I think we saw last year in pre-season how well the club is doing at Academic level, and the number of players who are coming through," he said.

"We saw a few players stepping into the first team during the course of last season, and hopefully there'll be another few following this time.

"There is a very definite progression there from youth set-up to the first team.

"And as one of the senior players, I'll be doing everything I can to hopefully help them if and when the opportunity arises."

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The youngsters are taking advantage of the lack of transfer activity at present, with Latics still to make a signing since lifting the League One title.

Leam Richardson's squad is four players light of last year's pool, with Gavin Massey having moved on and loan trio Kell Watts, Tom Bayliss and Glen Rea returning to their parent clubs.

For his part, Darikwa is content to let that situation play out while he and the players who are here get ready for the new campaign.

"Obviously everyone involved in any football club will want to see improvements to the squad," he added.

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"We've gone up a level, and I'd imagine there'll be a few new faces coming in this summer, to replace the players who have left and to bolster what we have here.

"It's not something I'm particularly involved with, I'm just like everyone else, hearing the rumours and what people are saying on social media.

"I am sure there's plenty of work going on behind the scenes, with the gaffer and the board, to do everything they can to make us as competitive as we can be.

"Hopefully they'll be successful with that and continue the good work that's already going on here."