Under 18s coach Jack Lester says Nottingham Forest’s youngsters can see a ‘definite path’ towards first-team football.The former Reds striker returned to the club this summer, agreeing to join Gary Brazil’s coaching staff at the Nigel Doughty Academy.
And, with a number of players having already made the step up from his group to Jimmy Gilligan’s Under 21s side this season, Lester believes the youngsters he works with day-to-day have a clear image of what it takes to progress.
He told Forest Player: “When our players move up it’s a great opportunity for the lads down here. It’s a great visual for them to see, if they do things right, there is a definite path towards the first team.
“We had a couple of players from our group on the bench at Tottenham this season and one came on the pitch.
“That’s fantastic for us because we can say ‘this is what happens if you do it right and put the work in. The manager will back you.’”
Lester teamed up with another new arrival in the summer, lead professional development phase coach Kevin MacDonald.
MacDonald, who built an excellent coaching reputation during his time at Aston Villa, leads Forest’s Under 18s group.
And Lester, who is very much in the formative years of his own coaching career, couldn’t be happier with the learning environment that surrounds him.
He said: “Kevin is fantastic. He’s very open – I ask him questions every day. He has vast knowledge and experience both as a player and coach and he’s a terrific soundboard for me.
“There are other staff who you learn from too and it’s a really good place for me to start this journey.
“It’s a fantastic environment and it’s a very enjoyable job. I’m involved in all aspects and it’s fascinating.”
Click here to watch the full interview on Forest Player.