Tuesday night brought a senior debut for teenage forward Sam Fishburn, who came off the bench to play the last 20 minutes of the Papa John’s Trophy group game here at Brunton Park.
Having had such a blistering start to the season with Lancaster City, where it literally rained goals, manager Chris Beech spoke about the progress seen so far from the no-nonsense striker.
“He’s become so much more professional since I had a chat with him in the summer,” he said. “Johann Cruyff has a great quote which talks about if you’re playing 90 minutes of football you don’t have the ball for 88 minutes of that.
“That’s why you have functions within teams to make the team harder to play against when you don’t have the ball. In terms of holding the ball up, movement, pressing, regaining and retaining the ball, taking two touches and not offloading it as quickly as you can so you actually give it away, they’re all things we’ve been working hard with him on.
“It’s testament to the staff, ourselves, for working hard with players sometimes behind the frontline of what you’ll see on a Saturday. This type of work makes sure the lads are ready when they come to us in the future.
“I’m pleased with the loan spell he’s had so we’ll have to wait and see. One thing you can’t do is play everybody and it’s important players play games to improve while they work in an environment where every day is an opportunity to get better, rather than rest on laurels and wait for games.
“Sam’s obviously a massive development player at the age he’s at, and the future that he may have. He’s got to work ever so hard to be able to replicate what he’s done at Lancaster at our level.
“If he manages that, then who knows what the future may hold for him. He knows that, he’s working very hard to establish himself in those traits.
“Who knows - every player that’s here is available for us to play currently, and while they’re not either out on loan or injured, so who knows.”