Promising Sunderland youngsters Tom Beadling and Andrew Nelson have been challenged to thrive under the pressure of playing in the Football League.
The pair have been loaned out to League One Bury and League Two Hartlepool United, respectively, for the rest of the season.
And their Under-23 manager at Sunderland, Elliott Dickman, has urged them to make the most of their spell away from the Academy of Light.
While Beadling is yet to make his debut for Bury, Nelson made an instant impact at Hartlepool United on Saturday.
The forward impressed Pools boss Dave Jones enough in his first few days training with the League Two club to be handed a start against Yeovil Town.
A live wire down the right side of midfield, he provided the assist for the opening goal - swinging over a beautiful cross for Padraig Amond’s opener.
He later gave away a penalty but his promising league debut caught the eye.
Dickman said: “It is important that some of the players have that opportunity.
“Luckily for those two lads it’s great that they have come up through our academy ranks, worked hard and now they can experience some different with the two clubs.
“To go out and gain Football League experience enables them to learn about a different side of the game because it will build them up as players and individuals.
“It is good for their development and it’s important to experience first-team football.”
Meanwhile, Sunderland defender Michael Ledger has been training with Norwegian side Viking ahead of a possible loan deal.