Darren Sarll says he has to continually test young players in order to ensure they are ready for the unforgiving world of Premier League football.

The former Stevenage man was handed a senior youth management role at Watford last month - a position which comes with the brief of helping players make the leap from junior football to the first team.

Sarll is under no illusions as to the size of such a task, but insists everything will be done to ensure youngsters who arrive at Watford are prepared for the challenge of top flight football.

"We need to stress to every player who comes under our umbrella that it is not going to be easy. It is going to be tough and this is not an easy industry. Even at the age of nine it is not an easy place to be, because everybody wants to be an elite player," Sarll said.

"We want to develop a robustness and resilience in young people and put them in a position where those qualities are being tested.

"When they roll out in front of 20,000 people they might have to do it against Paul Pogba. I have to put them in situations where they can address that, think clearly and perform to the standards demanded by this football club and the Premier League."

Sarll has overseen the Hornets' Under-23 games this term alongside coach Hayden Mullins and saw the Golden Boys suffer a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Ipswich Town on Monday.

While he doesn't buy into the idea results are inconsequential in academy football, Sarll still places more weight on experience than winning matches.

With this in mind, he feels the chance to play at Vicarage Road can prove beneficial for those who featured against the Tractor Boys.

Sarll is working alongside Watford's head of UK recruitment Andy Scott, who is helping reshape the Hornets' academy and the manner in which the club scouts young players.

He says the process will not be a quick one, but believes Watford will eventually reap the rewards of a root and branch restructure at youth level.

"It is a great challenge, one I am really enjoying and one that an understanding first-team head coach and board are helping with," he said.

"We have to see if the players can expand, improve develop and keep pace with what we are trying to do. The only way forward at the moment is with patience and a clear strategy."

With patience being the virtue Sarll will lean upon most readily in his role, it is likely that those in the current Under-23 set-up may not benefit fully from Watford's desire to change.

Indeed, Sarll is looking to push Watford's younger players further and feels they will inevitably have a better chance of making an impact further down the line.

"I have been particularly impressed with some of the Under-15s and if we are talking about longevity at this academy, a real future productivity, they are the ones who will benefit from patience," the 35-year-old said. "We will be able to shape them and improve their game as much as possible.

"Across the academy we will push the players as much as we can. The best 13-year-old will play with the Under-15s, the best 15-year-old with the 18s and so on."