Last Friday the Reds played out a 1-1 draw with Belgian outfit Club Brugge at Oakwell, with several youngsters impressing during the last half-hour of the match.
Second year pros Jake Scott, Sam Patterson and Jordan Clark, along with first-year pro Paul Digby, all came on to see out the goalless draw against Club Brugge – impressing the 3,374 crowd.
“The training camp – they made it,” said Flitcroft of his youngsters. “The energy from Sam Pat (Patterson), Clicker (Jordan Clark), Diggers (Paul Digby), Rhys Oates. When the older players are sort of flagging a little bit, and they’ve had a tough shift during the morning, they can get up the next day and they’re bouncing.
“They are very infectious around the place. They’ve been a big part of this group and I’ve said all along if we can get players training with our first-team, they’re going to develop.
“We put them in there, it’s tough at times but they’re progressing really well and I’m delighted with everyone in the squad, really.”
Midfielder Paul Digby made his second appearance after just less than a year out injured, and Flitcroft is wary of bedding the 18-year-old back into the fold.
“The kid’s been out a year,” continued Flitcroft. “We’ve got an incredible development programme for him. We’ve got to coax Diggers along to where we want him to get to. He’s an asset to this football club and because of that, we’ll protect him.”