Transfer news: Steve Cotterill to bring experience into Bristol City
Last Updated: 09/06/14 3:52pm
Steve Cotterill has made the acquisition of experienced heads a top priority for Bristol City this summer.
The club have favoured a policy based on player development in the past, with hidden gems sought that can be polished and sold at a profit.
Cotterill feels the time is right for a change in approach, with it important that the club focus more on the present and a push for promotion back to the second tier of English football.
If he is to guide City towards that target, he believes more seasoned professionals are required – those who have been there and done it and those who are less susceptible to distractions.
“There was a craving to look at players who were 18-21 and then over the years they (the board) got used to taking in the 30-33 year olds,” Cotterill told The Bristol Post.
I’d rather them be 25, 26 or 27 and married with two children. Then they can go home every night and have a nice dinner cooked for them and watch the TV. They come into training the next day and do exactly the same thing.
“We need a few middle-of-the-roaders, and that is all right if you bring in the right ones with enough mileage left in their legs.
“Now I want to be looking at a few 25, 26 and 27 year olds.
“The reason I say that is because Bristol is a wonderful city, but when young boys come here and they find the nightlife and the restaurants and the bars and the clubs, it causes you a bit of a problem.
“I’d rather them be 25, 26 or 27 and married with two children. Then they can go home every night and have a nice dinner cooked for them and watch the TV. They come into training the next day and do exactly the same thing.
“Don’t get me wrong, we’d love to have some good young players coming in, but we’ve got young ones here already.”
Cotterill has also been quick to point out that the desire to add this summer will not block the path of promising academy graduates, with emphasis still being placed on the need to produce home-grown talent.
He added: “We need to promote our academy boys and get our 18 year olds playing for the U21s – real sink or swim football, because they will learn quickly from that.
“For a season they might struggle, but at the end of the season, 100 per cent they will be better players and more streetwise.
“The tough ones will come through it, and those will be the ones you want in your first team squad.”