Denis Smith and Alan Durban to assist Stoke's academy

Denis Smith
Denis Smith has managed at six Football League clubs

Stoke City have recruited Denis Smith and Alan Durban to help develop young talent at the club's academy.

Smith, 63, played almost 500 games for Stoke, winning the League Cup in 1972, while 70-year-old Durban managed the Potters between 1978 and 1981.

"They're spending a lot of money on developing youth," Smith told BBC Radio Stoke. "I believe there's good talent here and we want to help that along.

"It might encourage more local lads to come to Stoke and that's what I want."

Smith continued: "They just feel they need somebody around who can mentor young lads if they're going through a bad period, someone away from the coaches that they can go to, someone who will help them along.

"Alan and I will be there if they need someone to talk to."

Two academy products - defenders Andy Wilkinson and Ryan Shotton - featured for Stoke in the Premier League last season.

Smith is one of the few managers to take charge of more than 1,000 professional matches in England, having had spells at York, Sunderland, Bristol City, Oxford (twice), West Bromwich Albion and Wrexham.

Durban, a former Wales international, led Stoke to promotion from Division Two in 1979 and returned for a short spell as caretaker manager in 1998.