Udinese coach Andrea Stramaccioni has called on Italian clubs to have a second team to help with the development of young talent.
The 38-year-old joined the Serie A side in June having parted ways with Inter in May 2013 after just over a year in charge at San Siro.
Stramaccioni previously worked as a youth coach at Roma and Inter and led Inter Primavera to the 2011/12 NextGen serie title.
Having worked within youth football in Italy, Stramaccioni has now admitted that clubs in the country need a second team so that youngsters can play football without the pressure of winning.
"It’s undeniable. Having become a coach in Serie A from the Primavera, I have even more proof of the problem: the gap between the youth leagues and the top leagues is large, too large,” he said.
“And we pay for the absence of second teams, which penalises the efforts of our young people.
"Our big clubs work well, but they have the disadvantage of not having a huge second team where kids can play 20-25 games against bigger teams in tranquillity.”
While the Udinese coach called for change in the way young players come through the ranks in Italy, the 38-year-old was not wholly pessimistic, saying that the country was slowly catching up with other nations.
"With the advent of [Arrigo] Sacchi we have greatly improved, although we are not yet at the level of other nations. A project for the improvement is there and the results will come,” he said.
"I trust, something is improving. We have reformed the student’s league, the Primavera, but the important thing now is that the reforms do not stop. The B teams can do for now. It would be a definite advantage.”