Wayne Rooney ready to put his faith in Plymouth’s academy players

New Plymouth boss Wayne Rooney has promised to give the club’s young players a chance to follow in his footsteps and make their names as teenagers.

Rooney, who burst on to the Premier League scene as a 16-year-old at Everton, has been handed the reins at Home Park less than five months after losing his job at Birmingham.

And the former Manchester United and England forward has backed his ability to develop potential talent in Devon.

Wayne Rooney (left) played for Everton’s first team as a 16-year-old
Wayne Rooney (left) played for Everton’s first team as a 16-year-old (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I’ve put a lot of work in, a lot of time in to try to develop myself as a coach, try to improve, try to get better, and I want to be a coach who helps players, helps teams, develops players, academy players.

“Academy players are really important as well, to try to improve them, because I was a player who came into the first team at 16. I think a lot of young players are good enough, but maybe don’t get the chance, so I’ve got a real passion for that as well.”

Rooney, who acknowledged his journey to Plymouth via spells at Derby, DC United and Birmingham had its challenges, is excited about the latest phase of his career, which will see him link up once again with the club’s director of football Neil Dewsnip.

Plymouth director of football Neil Dewsnip
Plymouth director of football Neil Dewsnip (Steven Paston/PA)

Rooney, who admitted the two men had not seen each other for around 10 years until Birmingham played at Plymouth in December last year, said: “Of course with Neil’s role at the club and my role at the club, it’s going to have to be a daily basis I’m speaking to Neil now.

“I think ultimately the important thing in that is we’re both trying to do the right thing, we both want the right thing, we’re both on the same wavelength now to make sure the club moves forward on players coming into the football club, style of play, how we want to move forward.

“That relationship now is going to be so important.”

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