Oldham Athletic have welcomed the move to increase bench sizes in the National League from five to seven named substitutes.

It is something the club have campaigned for since entering the division two years ago, with club chief executive Darren Royle leading the charge on the topic.

At the National League AGM last weekend it was agreed that clubs would be able to make five substitutions from a seven-strong bench, starting from the new 2024/25 season.

And rather than restrictions on when those changes can be made, substitutes can be introduced at any time during the 90 minutes as opposed to the three stoppage rule that was in operation in the Football League.

And Royle is delighted it has been given the thumbs up by National League teams.

"I think for all the clubs it will allow them to have some kind of impact later on in games," said Royle.

"For bigger clubs maybe with bigger squads it will help refresh teams with more decisions to be made around substitutions.

"I can understand why for smaller teams it could be difficult where they've got to maintain a wage bill as well, so there's a balance there.

"But at the end of the day it was a vote and the vote was in favour of the increase to seven substitutions."

And Royle hopes that it will have a number of positive knock-on effects, notably when it comes to blooding younger players.

"I think if there's an opportunity for more players to taste a matchday and be part of it, it can only be a good thing," he added.

"It definitely does offer an opportunity for younger players to come through. We want to have a squad of 20, plus goalkeepers - Micky (Mellon) wants his tight-knit squad and so most of the players are involved."

Royle said there was the added incentive for players of having something to show for a full week of training, with a greater opportunity of being named in the matchday squad.

"It helps to keep people happy," he continued.

"It's good to keep people involved and hopefully it can mean a few of the younger players in the squad get some game time as well."

Latics had tended to name one goalkeeper and four outfield players on the bench, but to increase outfield options there were occasions over the last couple of seasons when they took the risk of not having a substitute goalkeeper.

"There have been a few times when we've done that and it's always an uneasy feeling that you're worrying about a tackle or the goalkeeper getting injured from something," said Royle.

"You want a goalkeeper on the bench and we've got two really good goalkeepers at the club."