Keith Curle on a debut for second year scholar Cameron SalkeldManager Keith Curle handed a senior debut to youth team second-year Cameron Salkeld on Tuesday night and the all-action attacking midfielder made an immediate impact as he went on to win the penalty which sealed the victory late in the game.
And Curle confirmed in his post-match interview that age isn’t a factor if he feels a player is ready to play a part.
“Cameron took his opportunity well,” he said. “He’s been training with us for the last few weeks on the recommendation of Darren Edmondson and David Wilkes. In their opinion he’s at the top end of the youth department at the moment and he’s ready for this kind of progression.
“He has good physical attributes, good ability and a good mentality. His team mates should get a lift from this because there are other lads we’ve had a look at as well. We’ll continue to do that and when they do come over to us it’s about total integration. I don’t want them in there to make up numbers. It’s all part of their development to see if they can cope.
“With Cameron, we need to see if he can hold his own within the group on a daily basis. He’s been around us to get used to the way we operate and it’s credit to him and the others who come across as to how they find themselves fitting in and enjoying it.
“Part of his development now is to learn during games and we’re telling all of our young players that the information they’re given isn’t just for that moment. It’s about understanding what might be needed as and when they step up to join in either the first team training sessions or the first team match day environment.”
On the importance of developing close links with the Academy set-up, he said: “With the relationships we’re building we’re able to remind all of the young players that if they do well in the youth team or in the youth sessions I will know about it within 24 hours.
“However, that works the other way. If someone isn’t doing what needs to be done I get a nudge as well. The fact is that if you’re good enough, I’ll play you. Age doesn’t matter to me.
“Cameron has shown everyone that rewards are there if you work hard. He will be feeling fantastic right about now, and what you want at your club is a pathway into the dressing room and onto the pitch.
“That path starts with the messages they get from Darren and David and it continues when they make sure they impress us when they do come over to join us.”