Date: 14th October 2008 at 5:05pm
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Blackburn have signed Arsenal youth team player Jason Banton.

The England youth international striker agreed to join Rovers today after talks with Paul Ince.

And the signing is seen as a major coup for Ince, with numerous clubs reportedly interested in Banton – such as Man City and Aston Villa.

Rovers managing director Tom Finn believes the signing is further evidence of the ambition of Rovers youth policy. He will be blood in the youth ranks before being given a chance at first team level.

The youth team players who are hovering round the first team are many under Ince. Keith Treacy and Martin Olsson are both regulars in the first team squad – under Mark Hughes they were merely an after thought.

Tom Finn, speaking to Sky Sports News said, “Jason has signed with us and we are delighted to have him here. He`s a young England international, playing a year above his own age group.

“Obviously, it has been good to see some of our young players develop at the Academy and make it through to the first-team.

“That has happened over the last few years. We`ve seen Matt Derbyshire come through, and this season, Keith Treacy and Martin Olsson have been given opportunities at first-team level.

“These are players that have come through our system and been recognised by the first-team manager.

‘It`s good to see them getting that opportunity.”

Rovers may well be onto something here as youngsters will see Rovers and similarly placed clubs as a place to show there talents as youth team to first team slots at the ‘big 4’ are rare.

Finn also believes that more talented youngsters will be coming through the doors in the near future.

“There`s no doubt that, here at Blackburn, there is a route through to the first-team from the Academy,”

“That can only help us reach out to promising young players.

“If they can see that the manager is prepared to put his faith in young players – because they are good enough – then it helps enormously.”

A great coup for Rovers, youth is sadly underrated in this country but Ince is a firm believer in the process.

Lets have some more of this.

Mikey D – You’re man with the news. Unlike Sas, who is asleep when you need him most!

 

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