Coppell pleased with current trend of non-league players moving up leagues

Steve Coppell has backed the scouting system that some Football League clubs have in place with regards to non-league and believes that there are more players unfounded.

When Coppell was manager at Crystal Palace, he plucked striker Ian Wright from Dulwich Hamlet and brought in Alan Pardew from Yeovil to his Premier League side. Both players performed brilliantly after making the step up from non-league and Coppell was delighted with the service he received. The former Palace and Reading boss has acknowledged the rise to prominence of Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who was signed to Fulham from non-league Maidstone United before he made his move to Old Trafford.

Coppell believes that it is correct to focus on non-league as a potential way of signing young players who have been released from academies. The 56 year old also stated that with the financial backing most clubs have, it gets easier to sign players at non-league level for good amounts of money that help the non-league sides.

‘I would say that more and more you are reading about players that have come from non-league to be successful. Given the finances of a lot of clubs now, they really do scout the lower leagues as well and if a player does well, then they will soon progress into professional football.

“Look at some of the players in the Premier League. There is now a well-trodden path from non-league into top professional football. I think it’s still a hot-bed of development for young players’, Coppell said.

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