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Gillingham's Peter Taylor is against FA chairman Greg Dyke's plans to introduce top-level reserve teams into the Football League structure

By Luke Cawdell
Gillingham manager Peter Taylor Picture: Barry Goodwin

Peter Taylor believes the country’s top young talent would be better off at teams like Gillingham, rather than playing in a new competition for B-teams.

The Football Association board will consider a proposal on Wednesday whereby reserve teams from the Premier League and Championship would be integrated into the Football League system.

Proposals – part of FA chairman Greg Dyke’s plans for improving the national game - include a division between League 2 and the Conference or a merger of those two divisions.

While agreeing that football at under-21 level needs changing, Taylor is wary of introducing B-teams.

Callum Davies is a product of Gillingham's youth system Pic: Barry Goodwin

He said: “I think some of the under-21 football is false and is a little bit like our game on Saturday, which saw some nice passing but it was a nothing game because we all knew where we were and what we were doing.

“To get more competitive, real football, for the younger players I think it is good.

“The only thing I would say, is that if there are Premiership teams there with so many foreign players and that’s what they’ve got to do with their English players, then that is wrong, they should just loan them out.

“Loan them out to play for a club like ourselves to get used to the real world, but loan them out for a long time. I don’t like the month’s loan, to me if Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea have good players that need to go to the real world then they should be on loan at clubs like ourselves for a year.

“The games would be more competitive if they joined in League 1. But if an Arsenal B team played us in League 1 then it would be more competitive but I am not sure they would have the same feeling if they didn’t win.

Elliott Hewitt played on loan for Gillingham after joining from Championship side Ipswich Town

“Elliot Hewitt and Connor Smith came here (this season) and they were desperate to keep Gillingham in this league and they were playing first team football.”

The idea may also be complicated by promotion and relegation issues.

“If there is no promotion and relegation it isn’t real football anyway,” Taylor added, “And so to me it is a waste of time. It has to be real football.”

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