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INTERVIEW: They now understand what it takes

Gav Skelton on a great experience for the younger players

16 July 2021

Tuesday night’s first outing at Frenchfield Park saw a crop of second years gain some valuable experience as they took to the pitch to play alongside the senior professionals.

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Jack Ellis and Max Kilsby joined Gabriel Breeze, Sam Fishburn and Scott Simons in the first and second half line-ups and they received glowing praise from the fans who went along to watch the game.

“Getting these lads involved means they now understand what it takes,” Gav Skelton said. “It’s different demands and pressures – not just the footballing side but the expectation, the speed of play the experienced lads are used to.

“You’re trained and coached all you want but playing with experienced, good players helps you vocally, you follow their lead with how they train and play. 

“They also get to feel what it’s like to feed off fans being there. It is miles better. It’s a great pre-season night, the weather’s good, the pitch was good, just felt back to a little bit of normality, and long may that continue.”

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“The keepers did a half each and they’ll be pleased,” he continued. “You can tell for them it’s a different expectation, a crowd brings a different pressure, as does playing with the first-team lads.

“There are things they probably need to tidy up on, but some pleasing things as well. They’ll be better for it, they train with us daily, regularly, and you can see an improvement in that.

“They’re two really promising young keepers. It’s the biggest crowd they’ll have been in front of and a different level of expectation from the manager. That’s new.

“They probably won’t sleep well tonight because the adrenalin will be buzzing. We’re looking to add to the keeper group as well, but there’s no panic because we’re in a really good place.”

“As for Jack, Sam and Max, they did well,” he concluded. “They looked composed. It’s difficult because of the different factors they had to deal with.

“Like I say, the crowd is vocal, the manager’s here, they’re playing with the first team players, so the demands on them are naturally more. Some take to it and some find it more difficult. I thought they adapted really well.” 

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