Ian Allinson says St Albans City need to push on with developing their own youth programme if they are to make missing out on the likes of Joe Newton a rarity.
The talented 18-year-old left-back signed for Coventry City on Monday after moving from Steve Castle’s Royston Town.
He had originally been on the books of St Albans City Youth but moved to Colney Heath, with the Magpies giving him a senior debut at the tender age of just 16.
And Allinson says although it isn’t a quick fix, Saints are “not where we should be” in creating that pathway for their own youth to follow.
The St Albans boss said: “We were aware of Joe and spoke to him in the summer but he had an agent who was working on his behalf.
“And he is the one who decides where Joe goes and what he does so unfortunately we had to back off.
“It would have been good to bring someone like him into the club.
“But we need to have our own pathway and develop our own players and bring them through into our set-up.”