Raven tips Caley Jags kids to hit heights in first team
Caley Thistle’s ‘class of 2018’ will prove vital in driving the club forward, according to fans’ favourite David Raven.
Daniel MacKay is the headline name of the group, having made a huge impact in his debut season, but the talented group of fresh-faced players can provide the backbone of future Inverness success.
Jack Brown and Camer- on Harper also tasted firstteam action under John Robertson, while Gabriel Hastings, Roddy Kennedy, Kieran Chalmers, Roddy MacGregor, Ryan Fyffe, Harry Nicolson and Ross Gunn complete the set.
MacKay is the club’s youngest scorer and a Scotland schoolboys international, where he played alongside Chalmers.
They are all part of the under-17s side which was so successful in the Club Academy Scotland League System this season and all signed senior deals last month.
Raven, who coached some of the group at Caley Thistle, said: “They’ve got massive futures. The club needs some youth team guys that can kick on and I think they will do it.
“It’s the group that might just push the club forward – they’ve not had that since Liam Polworth and Ryan Christie.”
Long-serving players like Gary Warren and Carl Tremarco have also assisted with some of the club’s younger teams and Raven feels the Caley Jags need to do all they can to keep them around at the end of their careers in a coaching capacity, despite Warren being told he is free to find another club.
He added: “They’re the kind of guys you don’t realise how lucky you are to have them until they’ve gone.
“They’ve got to have something about them to stay in the game for so long.
“It gives guys coming through someone to look up to.
“They are benefiting because they’re gaining experience but the club is benefiting massively from it. It’s a no-brainer for me.
“It’s one of the reasons I moved on, because there was nothing at all there if I wanted to stay in football.”
Raven left the club in January this year, moving to Wrexham in the National League.
He was let go at the end of last season and is on the lookout for coaching opportunities in the game. Premier League champions Manchester City will start their title defence at Arsenal.
The 2018-19 fixtures, announced yesterday, handed Pep Guardiola’s team an Emirates Stadium opener on the weekend of August 11-12 – a match which will also mark the Premier League bow of the Gunners’ recentlyappointed Spanish boss Unai Emery.
City do not face another top-six side until the trip to Liverpool in October.
Games against newlypromoted trio Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham are part of a sequence which also includes Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton.
It is a similar story for neighbours United, who begin at home to Leicester.
The 2017-18 runnersup have Tottenham at home in their third game, with Brighton, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle their other early season opponents.
After hosting West Ham, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool face Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in a run which also includes Crystal Palace, Brighton, Leicester and Southampton.
Tottenham, who have until today to decide whether to return to Wembley next season while work on their new stadium is completed, have been given an away opener, starting their second successive campaign at Newcastle.
North London rivals Arsenal face a tough first two games without Arsene Wenger.
After the Gunners host the champions, the team now managed by Emery are at Chelsea.