CITY’S newest pros have been urged not to limit their ambitions this season.

Finn Cousin-Dawson, Connor Shanks, Jorge Sikora and Kian Scales are hoping to make their mark in Stuart McCall’s squad.

The teenage quartet, along with Reece Staunton who signed a deal last Christmas, were all involved in last week’s friendly against Doncaster.

And academy manager Neil Matthews believes they have something to offer at a time when the salary cap in the lower divisions could start to open the door for more youngsters to emerge through the system.

Matthews watched former City loanee Lewis O’Brien come through during his time working at Huddersfield and can see similar traits.

He said: “I’ve watched Lewis develop over the last 10 years very closely, so I know the make-up and the mindset that you need.

“These five, if you include Reece, have all got something a little bit different about them in terms of a stand-out attribute.

“Underlying that, none of them have had it easy.

“Reece has arguably had the smoothest transitions because there has always been a lot of interest in him. He’s a left-footed, cultured player who has caught the eye.

“But the other four have had to develop a lot of persistence, resilience and grit to get where they are. You need that in your career.

“From my own experience, you’ve got to grow up very quickly. There are no under-23s at Bradford, so you basically train with the first team if you are doing well.

“We expect a lot from them as young players and people coming through but that’s obviously going to another level.”

McCall has been pleased with how the rookies have slotted in and Matthews is confident that none of them are there simply to make up the numbers.

“They’ve got a year which could go really quickly,” he added. “They have to make the most of it.

“I said to them, ‘don’t have any limits’. I don’t want them thinking they are here and the rest are there.

“They’ve got to try and win Stuart over and earn the right to be a part of it. Knowing the mindset of these lads, they’ll give it their best shot.

“What could help is that there are a number of them.

“Knowing the lads as I do, they’ll be keen for each other to do well. But at the same time, if one is doing well that will drive the others on - there's that competition between them.

“We’re obviously hoping they make the step. We all appreciate there’s work to do but there are a lot of ingredients that suggest they might be able to do that.”

Cousin-Dawson, Shanks and Sikora all played non-league football on loan last season. Scales was due to join a club when the virus kicked in.

Matthews said: “We’ve got to give Stuart and Kenny (Black) indications that they can make that step up.

“The year before, even though the youth team did well, none of the players got a pro contract. From day one the following season, we were keen to work with the staff and help these lads a bit better.

“Stuart and Kenny will make the call on their next steps. But they’ve all got something that makes you think if they get that opportunity, hopefully they will take it.”