GARY Bowyer believes City’s links with the local non-league network can play a “massive” part in developing their youngsters.

Goalkeeper George Sykes-Kenworthy and defender Reece Staunton both featured in the Trophy after recent loan spells.

Sykes-Kenworthy, who made his senior debut, spent time at the start of the season with Guiseley while Staunton featured for Ossett United.

Bowyer sees it as a valuable avenue for giving the club’s young players experience.

“It’s important that they go out on loan and play,” said the City boss.

“Young Reece Staunton did that at Ossett and I’ve certainly seen the difference in him since coming back. He’s been around the men’s environment.

“It’s something we’re going to do with Jorge Sikora as well because I thought he impressed when he came on. He needs to go and experience that.

“The better links we can have with our local non-league clubs is massive for us.”

Bowyer has noticed a positive difference in Sykes-Kenworthy, who turns 20 on Tuesday, after his time at Nethermoor. He knows the young keeper will not get carried away following his first taste of the senior stage for the Bantams.

Bowyer added: “George is a great kid and is well liked by everybody with how he conducts himself and goes round the place. He’s growing up every day.

“I asked him after training what he thought about the game. He was harsh on himself about what areas he felt could have been better but that’s what makes him progress.

“We’re delighted with how he’s gone about it. He looked calm and composed and the game didn’t faze him. That’s a massive strength for a goalie to have that temperament.

“He’s worked incredibly hard with John Vaughan, who’s pushing not just him but all of them. You’ve seen the development of the goalkeepers this season already.”

Sikora yesterday joined Ossett on an initial one-month work experience loan.