As he approaches his 35th birthday next month, Didi Hamann has told mcfc.co.uk that youth is a key factor for progressing the Club under Mark Hughes.
The former Blackburn boss inherited a youthful squad from Sven-Goran Eriksson and has added to this with 21-year-old Club record signing Jô.
Last Thursday’s UEFA Cup tie against EB/Streymur also showed the young make up of the squad with an average age of just 23 between the 13 players used on the night.
And Hamann insists this is the way forward, saying: “This is the future of every football club, to bring young players through and if they’re good enough, there’s no reason why the Manager wouldn’t play them.
“We’ve got a pretty young squad here and play with a lot of home grown players who have come through the Academy.
“That is a very good thing and I don’t think many clubs have got that. We have to keep that going and progress from there.”
On a personal level, Hamann is preparing for what will be an 11th season of English top flight football, with Mark Hughes now the ninth manager he’s worked under.
He added: “It’s always an exciting time of the year, pre-season, a few players come in and others go.
“We’ve had a change of management as well and everybody wants to battle for a place. If we get a few more players in that’ll increase the battle.
“Last season was a big improvement on the season before, we finished ninth, but probably had the chance to finish in the top six or seven until April.
“But with a few new players hopefully we can improve again from last season and I think everybody will be happy.”