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MANAGER: It was a great experience for them

Steven Pressley on the crop if youngsters who played on Tuesday night

11 July 2019

United boss Steven Pressley made Tuesday night one to remember for six of his young players with Jarrad Branthwaite, a scholar already contracted to the club, joined by first-year professional Josh Dixon in the starting eleven.

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Appearances followed for fellow first-year pro Keighran Kerr, when he came on for the final 30 minutes, along with youth second years Jamie Armstrong, Charlie Birch and Taylor Charters who also entered the fray at the same time.

Speaking after the game, manager Steven Pressley said: “For some of these kids this is the biggest game they’ve ever played in and it was a great experience for them.

“It’s also great for the club when we see our own young players get an opportunity. It energises everybody because it’s what clubs like ours should be about.”

“With the young professionals, I thought Josh [Dixon] acquitted himself brilliantly for the 60 odd minutes he played,” he added. “He had a really good game and you have to consider that was his first appearance since he recovered from a cruciate knee injury.

“He’s applied himself brilliantly in training and I was chuffed to bits for him. I’m sure he had very proud parents in the stand and these are great days for these people.

“When I arrived at the club I asked about our younger players and McCarron was very much the one everybody was talking about. Soon after that we saw the emergence of Jarrad Branthwaite, and I was also told that Josh had been one of the lads to watch prior to his injury. It’s really refreshing to see him come back from that.”

“Keighran Kerr is trying to claim the own goal as his own, but I’m not sure about it!” he joked. “Again it’s great for him to have had a positive impact when he came on.

“All of the other young lads did well tonight. Having your own young players involved energises a football club, the young players have a real desire to do well, and that energy reflects on the senior players.

“It brings a vibrancy around the place and the good thing for us is that we had a group of young players who walked out of the stadium feeling good about themselves, and that’s really good for us. The first and second year scholars who watched from the stands should see it as a real driving force, because it’s where they should all want to be.”

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