MILLWALL legend Paul Robinson has urged the club to put its faith in youth after his exit from The Den this week.
Robinson, who first signed professional terms with the Lions in 2001, reached an agreement to cancel his Millwall contract on Tuesday.
The popular defender, 33, has since completed a permanent move to Portsmouth, where has been on loan since August.
And Robinson, who came through the academy ranks, hopes to see the next generation of young centre backs establish themselves in the Lions' first team.
Sid Nelson, 18, has made his first two senior appearances in recent weeks, while Jake Goodman, 21, impressed in front of the TV cameras for loan club AFC Wimbledon against Liverpool on Monday.
Robinson said: "I'm a big believer in giving youth a chance because those lads have a special affinity with the club and are the ones who can really take Millwall forward.
"It's nice that there is a real opportunity for the academy boys to break through and make a career for themselves, just like I did.
"I trained with Sid quite a bit at the start of this season and he's an absolute Millwall type – a textbook Millwall player in my eyes. He's got a very, very bright future.
"Obviously he's young and raw, and when you're maturing as a centre half there is a lot you need to learn, physically and technically.
"But Sid is hungry, desperate to learn and I can only see him going from strength to strength.
"I broke into the team here in a very similar situation back in 2001 and now Sid is in the same position.
"He's got a great opportunity to establish himself as a Millwall player which I know he is very capable of doing.
"I played against Jake for Portsmouth on Boxing Day and he did really well – I was very impressed.
"He's been around the senior squad for a few years now and he's always wanted to work hard, improve and get better.
"He was fantastic against Liverpool, and he'll learn so much from an occasion like that and by playing against top class strikers.
"The door isn't closed for him at Millwall and it would be good to see him get a chance.
"There is a good group of young players and the club is definitely building something. There is now a pathway through to the first team."
Robinson leaves Millwall after making 362 appearances – but had not been selected by manager Ian Holloway this season.
"There are no hard feelings at all and I've appreciated his honesty with me," he added.
"Ollie is the manager and I respected his view, even though it wasn't easy to hear. He told me the truth and has allowed me to move on and continue my playing career elsewhere.
"I obviously wish the club nothing but success in the future and I hope Ollie can bring it to them.”
It is understood that the idea of Robinson returning to the club as a coach in the future has already been discussed.
"That's lovely to have on the horizon in the future because I've got a big connection with Millwall," he said.
"If that can be the next step in my future career, I could think of no better place to start.
"I've got a great relationship with some very good people there.
"I'll keep in touch with them all and Millwall’s result will be the first I look for as soon as I get back in the dressing room.
"I'm constantly keeping an eye on what's going on and I'll be a regular visitor to The Den."