WORCESTER City are keen to expose a number of the club’s youth players to the first-team environment over the course of the new season.

City have an established youth set-up across various age groups with the under 19s academy side managed by former striker Mark Owen at Heart of Worcestershire College.

Several of the players trained with Carl Heeley’s main squad last term and the same is set to happen again this time around.

Striker James Lemon has been registered by the Blue and Whites for their Vanarama Conference North campaign, which kicks off on Saturday, and a few more of his colleagues are expected to follow suit later this week.

Former Coventry City striker Ben Maund, 19, has also been registered by Worcester after being released by the League One side at the end of last season.

Both have been involved in pre-season with Maund scoring the winner in last Saturday’s 2-1 friendly win at Barwell and Lemon netting twice for a City XI in a 5-3 win against the Hereford United fans’ team at Malvern Town.

Lemon announced himself on the City scene with a goal on his 18th birthday to complete a 4-0 FA Cup second qualifying round victory over Coventry Sphinx last September.

Along with the returning Mike Symons, it takes the number of registered strikers in City’s squad to three.

Both, however, will be made available for dual registration, which means they will effectively be loaned to lower-ranked clubs in order to play regular football while training with the first team on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Right-back Josh Smith, another who has been involved in pre-season, spent time with Pershore Town and Stourport Swifts last term in a similar arrangement.

Owen’s academy team reached the FA Youth Cup second round proper last season, eventually losing 9-0 to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

It was the furthest the team have progressed and, despite the scoreline, showed they were heading in the right direction.

Worcester's FA Youth Cup campaign starts in the preliminary round at home to Pegasus Juniors next month.