David Flitcroft lamented the current trend of ever fewer strong leader characters in football.
Ahead of Saturday’s big promotion clash at Notts County, the Mansfield Town manager said players who lead are vital to derby games.
But he said it seemed they were being phased out through the way players are being coached at academies.
“I think over the past 10 years, what the academies have probably done is take us away from a leadership group,” he said.
“Your John Terrys didn’t come through the academy system. Those type of players are slowly diminishing.
“You try to look for them. They’re hard to find at times. I was certainly that when I was a player and I loved local derbies.
“It’s about keeping your nerve, directing traffic, picking players up who might just be struggling, and leading from the front.
“When you try to recruit a squad of players, you’d love 11 of them, but they’re just not out there because of social impact, how people socialise now, the way players are mentored and coached and developed in the academies.
“You probably haven’t got that character coming through the academies and it’s a shame.”
He added: “When you looked at the top teams – your Steve Bruces, your Pallisters, your Keanes, they were everywhere.
“Your Niall Quinns of this world. They roll off your tongue.
“I think as football tries to develop we will probably lose that. It’s a worry as they are the type of players that come out on top in any big game.”