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How Sheffield United board will reportedly allow Heckingbottom influence over first team next season

The Sheffield United board want Paul Heckingbottom to retain some influence over the first team next season.

Heckingbottom is currently leading the Blades after stepping up from his role as Under-23s boss following Chris Wilder’s departure.

Yet the 43-year-old is only in the position until the end of 2020/21. At that point, United will hire a permanent successor to Wilder.

Heckingbottom has already made it clear he doesn’t want the job permanently and will go back to work in the academy.

But the club’s hierarchy want whomever the new manager is to keep working alongside him.

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That’s because Yorkshire Live reports they want the new boss to consistently promote youngsters from the academy into the first team.

Heckingbottom believes there are some great young prospects who deserve a chance. As does head of academy, Jack Lester, and Under-18s manager, Derek Geary.

The board agrees and the new boss must show he’s prepared to give them that opportunity.

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The majority of the youngsters that could be seen in the first team next term will probably already be known to many Blades fans.

Antwoine Hackford became the club’s youngest ever Premier League player earlier this year when he came off the bench against Crystal Palace.

Hackford has been called up by the England Under-17s. Fellow academy starlet Daniel Jebbison has also been included in the Under-18s and is another on the list.

As is Iliman Ndiaye, whom Heckingbottom gave a debut to during the 5-0 loss to Leicester City.

Another is Hassan Ayari, who has been making a name for himself in the Under-23s and the Tunisia Under-20s.

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