Southampton: Jos Hooiveld has confidence in Saints youngsters
Southampton defender Jos Hooiveld has urged his side's youngsters to take their chance in the first team.
With players such as Luke Shaw leaving Saints this summer, several youngsters, including defender Matt Targett, 18, and 19-year-old midfielder Harrison Reed, have played in pre-season.
"At this moment, it's one of the best [group of] youngsters we'll ever get," Hooiveld, 31, told BBC Radio Solent.
"It'll be interesting to see who will stand up and grab the chance."
Southampton's 1-0 pre-season victory over Swindon on Monday saw academy graduates Targett, Reed and Lloyd Isgrove all start, and Hooiveld recognises his club have a reputation of creating talent.
Saints' academy has previously produced players such as Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, Arsenal forward Theo Walcott and and fellow Gunners player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
"Producing players is something we're used to at Southampton," he said
"It's just one of the things the club is known for."
Dutchman Hooiveld, who has been at the club since 2011, could benefit from the potential departure of Dejan Lovren to Liverpool, having had a disappointing season last year.
He played only eight times and says he is determined to fight for his future at St Mary's.
"As long as I'm here I will fight for every game," he said.
"It's always been my goal and target. Of course last season wasn't the best. It was an enjoyable season but I wanted to take part in it more than I did as well.
"I can honestly say that the boys in there have done an excellent job. You can't really complain.
"Of course I was disappointed but the chances I got, I didn't grab as greatly as I should have done. You know that in the Premier League you have to deal with the consequences."