CARETAKER manager John Snape has pledged to give home-grown talent a “baptism of fire” in Worcester City’s relegation battle.

And he has drawn up a “hit list” of “local lads” who he is looking to bring to the Vanarama National League North strugglers.

With cash-strapped City looking to cut costs, several of their current squad are likely to follow Lee Hughes, Colby Bishop and Micah Evans through the exit door.

However, Snape has stressed more departures would create further opportunities for City’s youngsters and players from the area to play for their home club.

The Blue and Whites are third from bottom and two points adrift of safety after a run of 13 league matches without a win.

“If an offer is made (to a player) and people want them to leave then we will have to review that with the board,” Snape said.

“But I will be looking to bring lads from Worcester into the squad. I want to give them a baptism of fire in a relegation battle.

“I have got a hit list of some local lads that I can’t name because they are probably at clubs at the minute but some of them have played here before.

“If I get the opportunity to bring anybody in I feel will enhance the side then I will do.

“But if local home-grown talent is available and they want to come they will get a chance to keep the club up this year.”

Callum Devlin, 17, came off the bench to make his debut in Worcester’s 2-1 defeat to play-off chasing FC Halifax Town last Saturday.

Sixteen-year-olds Tyreece Ruddock and Aaron Brett, also part of City’s under 18s Midland Floodlit League side, were unused substitutes and are expected to travel to bottom club Altrincham on Saturday (3pm).

Snape insisted he had “not been forced” to include the trio in his match-day squad and was hoping to blood more youngsters in the coming weeks.

He also said he was keen to gain access to players in Heart of Worcestershire College’s football academy who work in partnership with City.

“I have not been forced (to name Ruddock, Brett and Devlin),” Snape added.

“They have come in because I want some local Worcester lads in there. There are lads at the college who are a bit older and I have been told they are either as good as or better than the ones I have brought in.

“I would like them to come and play. There are things stopping that from happening at the moment which I am hopefully going to adjust.

“I want Worcester-based players playing for City and for Worcester people to come and support them from now until the end of the season.

“They will get their chance and I hope they take it for everyone’s sake.”