Watford have followed Brentford's lead in revamping their development programme's structure.
The Bees made the move to scrap their academy in the summer of 2016 and operate with a B team that runs in conjunction with the first team.
The Hornets are persisting with their academy but are going to use more U18s with their U23 side and their regular U23 side would be playing in their B team.
Former Brentford head of recruitment and now Watford's UK football recruitment director Andy Scott told the Hornets' official website: “Effectively, there will be two training groups next season – the Under-18s and the B team – but we will have three teams and three lots of fixtures.
“The Under-18 team will be comprised of mainly Under-16s and some Under-18s who need the fixtures, and the Under-23 fixtures will be played by the Under-18s in the majority so that they’re playing up a whole category up and testing themselves.
“The B team games will be played by first-team squad members and Under-18 or professional players worthy or capable of competing at that level.”
Brentford's B team have had a significantly improved fixture list in the past two seasons and beat Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan earlier this season.
And playing more games against sides of that calibre across the continent will help young players develop.
Scott commented: “If you’re playing against the likes of Man City, Bayern Munich or Ajax – as we (Watford) did recently – it’s going to give a better standard of opposition and allow us to develop those players early enough to enable them to play first-team football further down the line.”
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