STEVE Parkin says Wanderers will not risk ruining young players’ careers by rushing them into the first team ranks too soon.

The Bolton assistant boss reckons there are a handful of candidates among the Under-18s and 23s who could go on to play senior football in the not-too-distant future.

But after promoting Luca Connell and Joe Pritchard in the last few weeks, Parkin insists the club would put players at jeopardy by pushing them into the Championship before they are considered ready.

“There are two or three decent ones, more in fact, but you have to be crystal clear that it is the right time to put them in,” he said.

“They have to be able to handle it or else you take responsibility for ruining their careers.

“We were sure that Luca was ready to come in and he’s proved us right, he has played well, he’s never afraid of having the ball.

“Pritch (Joe Pritchard) was a little bit hard done by not to be involved (at Sheffield United) but he’s another who has broken through, and there might be a couple more.

“They have to be able to cope with the speed, the physicality of this league. You have to feel they are ready and if they are then Phil (Parkinson) will give them a chance.”

A study by Twitter account Prospect Watch found that Wanderers have given less game time to players aged 23 or younger than any other outside the Premier League.

It was found that 1,954 minutes of football was given to young players at the club – the vast majority of which went to 22-year-old on-loan Everton midfielder Joe Williams, who has completed 1,677 minutes so far.

Alongside recent graduates Connell and Pritchard, Connor Hall also played just over an hour in the Carabao Cup against Leeds United in August and deadline day loan arrival Callum Connolly also completed a full game against Sheffield United on Saturday.

Yeovil Town (16,565) were top of the 72 clubs, with Swansea City the leading Championship side on 16,067. Wanderers were way down on the 71st placed club Stoke City, who had 2,392.

Wanderers have also experienced registration embargo problems which have hampered first year professionals, such as Pritchard, from getting more game time.