Sunderland assistant manager Eric Black has paid tribute to the work of the club's academy coaching staff.
A steady crop of teenage talent broke into the first team last season, with Jordan Henderson earning the club a reported £20 million following his move to Liverpool a fortnight ago.
Other youngsters appeared on the fringes at the end of the campaign as well, and Black believes the future is looking bright for the Black Cats with these homegrown players mixing in alongside the likes of new signing Seb Larsson.
"It's great that the reserve and youth teams have done so well. The staff continue to produce good players and they deserve a lot of credit for that," Black told the official Sunderland website.
"The more players they can produce the better the manager has it in terms of selection. If they can keep doing that as they have done in previous years then the club will be a better place for it."
Black also believes some of the youngsters have benefited from gaining senior experience out on loan away from the Stadium of Light, offering invaluable opportunities for the players to get used to the physicality of professional first team football.
"You can't often take young players to the next level unless they've experienced real football. If they play a year or so in the reserves then it's usually time to experience something else," Black continued.
"The experience will be beneficial for them."
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