SWINDON Town manager David Flitcroft has promised to thoroughly run the rule over all of his youth team players as he assess the needs of his new squad.

Three scholars – Scott Twine, Tom Ouldridge and Jordan Simpson – were offered professional deals ahead of the 2017-18 season but it is not just that trio who will get the chance to impress the new Town boss.

Club legend Alan McLoughlin helps oversee the club’s hottest prospects in his role as manager of the U18s side, and Flitcroft is already familiar with the former Republic of Ireland international as the pair spent a season together as players at Rochdale in the early 2000s.

Flitcroft is well aware of the value of youth to a club of Town’s size and is eager to forge stronger links between the first team and the academy, although he admits it may take a bit of time to implement those plans.

“Alan is a football man, a football person so it’s great to have someone like him in already,” said Flitcroft.

“I have told him exactly my values and he is already instilling them into the youth group.

“We will be introducing some of the 17 and 18-year-olds into what we do in training, certainly early doors because we might not have the numbers.

“I won’t be able to get as close to this academy as I did at Bury, I was working in that five days a week. As soon as I was done with the first team, I would be working with the 15s, 16s and 18s.

“Here, it’s a different set-up so I am not going to have that opportunity to do that year one here, unfortunately, but certainly bringing the two parties close together is something I will commit to.”

Former Swindon Town scholar Sebastian Martinez has signed a two-year deal with Portuguese second-division side Leixões SC.

The teenager, who was released by Swindon earlier this year, became the first player from the Cayman Islands to sign apprenticeship forms with Town in January 2015.

The move came as a result of Swindon academy director Jeremy Newton taking his youth sides to the Cayman International Youth Football Tournament before being introduced to former Town player and talent scout Fitzroy Simpson, and featured a lot for Alan McLoughlin’s U18 side last term.

Martinez has signed a two-year deal, with the Portuguese LigaPro side having a further two-year option, and has caught the eye of Primeira Liga side Benfica, who have the first option on any resale.

“I want to thank Swindon Town, Jeremy Newton, Alan McLoughlin and Fitzroy Simpson for the five years of preparation they have provided me,” he said.

“Now my journey starts in Portugal and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Meanwhile, fellow former scholar Declan Lehmann has signed a scholarship deal with Forest Green Rovers, linking back up with former Swindon goalkeeper coach Steve Hale, who supported the young stopper during his battle with cancer, which he got given the all clear from last April.