Throughout The Football League, clubs are making an enormous contribution to identifying and nurturing the young stars of the future.

In total, there are more than 8,500 young players between the ages of 8 and 18 registered with League clubs and, in the last four seasons alone, more than 600 'home grown' players have turned professional.

Players that began on the books of League clubs are also making an increasing impact on the national team with players like Gareth Barry (Brighton & Hove Albion), Micah Richards (Oldham Athletic), Theo Walcott (Swindon Town), Ashley Young (Watford) and Joe Hart (Shrewsbury Town) all set to be mainstays of the England team of the future.

As the new season kicks-off football-league.co.uk takes a look at some of the bright young things that are set to light up a stadium near you over the next ten months.

Jonny Howson (Leeds United)

Howson was never looked back since being handed an opportunity by previous manager Dennis Wise, with his emergence in the 2006/07 season proving a rare highlight as Leeds were relegated.

Now 20, Leeds-born Howson has grown up in the spotlight at Elland Road and was a key man in Gary McAllister's side's push for the Coca-Cola Football League Play-Offs. Howson got both goals in his team's thrilling 2-0 victory over Carlisle in the second leg of the semi-finals.

Howson showed his maturity by captaining Leeds twice last season and in June he signed a new contract, which will keep him at the club until at least 2011, with the option for another year if Leeds are promoted.

Gary Madine (Carlisle United)

The striker has made just one start in Coca-Cola League 1 but has already attracted the interest of clubs in the top flight.

Madine, 17, is already considered to be one of the brightest prospects in English football.

A string of impressive displays for Carlisle's youth and reserve teams saw him break into John Ward's side at the tail end of last season, helping the Cumbrian side to the Football League Play-Off semi-finals.

Following the departure of Joe Garner to Nottingham Forest, Carlisle will expect plenty more this season from 6ft 4in Madine, who is under contract at Brunton Park until 2011.

Joe Mattock (Leicester City)

The England Under-21 is expected to light up Coca-Cola League 1 this term after an impressive rise to prominence.

Left-back Mattock, 18, who is also comfortable playing in midfield, has represented his country at Under-15, 16, 17 and Under-19 levels and became a regular in the Foxes team last season.

The Walkers Stadium outfit have already had to reject a bid from a Premier League club for the Leicester-born defender, who is expected to be a key man as Nigel Pearson's side plot an immediate return to the Coca-Cola Championship.

Sean Geddes (Walsall)

Geddes has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Saddlers but is another hot Coca-Cola League 1 talent attracting admirers from higher up the football pyramid.

The 16-year-old midfielder has trained with Manchester United in the past but committed his future to the Bescot Stadium club when signing a three-year contract earlier in the summer.

Due to his age, Geddes will spend this season serving a one-year apprenticeship and will then start a two-year professional contract.

Manager Jimmy Mullen said: "The fact that a large number of Premier League clubs have expressed an interest in Sean shows what a talent he is."

Tommy Rowe (Stockport County)

Rowe made his debut for the Hatters as an 18-year-old against Premier League opposition Watford in the FA Cup in January last year.

With his Manager Jim Gannon predicting that he will play in the top flight in the future, Rowe, now 19, was a key man in County's promotion through the Football League Play-Offs last season. He forced his way into the first-team in November and will be looking forward to testing himself in Coca-Cola League 1.

A tricky winger, Rowe can also play off a main striker and is also a competent left-back. His highlight of last season was a hat-trick in the 4-1 win at Rotherham in February.