You’ll never win anything with kids - that was the rebuke once famously thrown at Sir Alex Ferguson.
Well, it didn’t work out badly for him and Manchester United.
And that is the philosophy that Paul Thompson has stuck with in the Sheffield Steelers’ pre-season game series, so far.
Steelers have lost four out of their six friendly games, but that hasn’t concerned Thompson.
“None of the opposition we have played have had 16, 17 and 18 year olds in their teams” he said.
“If I simply wanted to win matches I would have played Moose (Ervins Mustukovs) all the time and used my strongest team.
“But we have used the kids a lot, because this is what our pre-season camp is all about.
“We are going to need them down the stretch and games like these are invaluable experience for them. The results have been immaterial.”
Twenty-three year old back up goalie Brad Day played the entire match at Manchester Storm on Sunday - and it’s fair to say he’d like to have back some of the goals.
“Brad was a little rink-rusty, he missed the start of the camp with tonsillitis and is a couple of weeks behind everybody else and that is to be expected. But he will get game-time again against Coventry Blaze this weekend.”
Thompson was impressed with the continuing development of Liam Kirk, 17.
“We all know what he can do offensively, with his talent and his speed.
“But there were things he was doing - turning the puck over in the wrong areas - that he needed to address and he has done that and taken it on board. I am excited to see what he is capable of.”
The coach said this week’s training would included “re-defining our systems” and hoping that no more injuries will manifest themselves.
John Armstrong should be back, but Matt Marquardt will not be, this weekend.
“Mathieu Roy is only 60 per cent fit but he’s a war horse and plays on. Any challenge match now where we don’t pick up any new injuries are a bonus.”