STANLEY boss John Coleman believes the club’s Academy is starting to bear fruit after the club’s Under-18 side marched into the second round of the FA Youth Cup in midweek.

The Reds swept aside Tranmere Rovers 3-0 on Tuesday night and now entertain Notts County in round two later this month.

Coleman was at Prenton Park to watch the next generation of Accrington players and was pleased with what he saw.

Harry Perritt struck twice, including a penalty, while Charlie Ridge also found the net as the visitors overcame a Tranmere side reduced to 10 men in the second half.

The Stanley boss, who has blooded Academy graduate Ross Sykes in the first team this season, said it was important that he keeps abreast of the development side.

“We are going to have to be making decisions on them in the next few months and it is good to see them playing in a big game,” he said.

“The Youth Cup games are always special, it takes their game up to another level and you can see how much it means to them by the way they play and they were fantastic. It was a really good performance.

“Their target is to do as well as they can for the youth team with the ambition of earning a first team contract.”

A number of clubs, such as Championship side Brentford, have ditched Academies in favour of recruiting players aged between 17-20 who have been released by bigger clubs.

The argument is that the cost of running an Academy outweighs the number of first team graduates while Premier League sides can pick up players at a relatively low cost.

But Stanley are going the other way and Coleman believes they are starting to see the benefits of the club’s model which is designed to identify talent young and then nurture it through to first team level.

“It is difficult because we are slap bang in the middle of Blackburn and Burnley and then you have Preston and the big clubs (such as Manchester United and Manchester City) who are not beyond the reach because it is an hour away,” said Coleman.

“We have to work hard to bring them in at a young age and it is starting to pay off now.

“The Academy doesn’t just happen overnight.

“When you are taking players who have been released from Burnley and Blackburn you have to get them going again whereas now we are looking to target the eight-year-olds and nine-year-olds and grow them through and we are getting a lot of positive feedback.

“There is a lot of good feedback from what our Under-9s to Under-15s are doing when we play the bigger clubs and they are all really impressed with how we perform and how we play.”