Candlin and Hayles-Docherty named in the matchday squad against Bradford...Joe Edwards says Walsall’s first-team squad will help youngsters Mitch Candlin and Tobias Hayles-Docherty in their development after both were named in the matchday 18 last weekend.
Candlin made his senior debut as an 84th-minute substitute at Bradford City, the 16-year-old moving up front with Simeon Jackson and catching the eye with his hold-up play.
Both players have trained with the first-team recently, and wing-back Edwards has been impressed with what both players have brought to the table.
“It’s a credit to both of them,” said Edwards. “They’ve trained a few times with us and impressed the boys - the boys have been talking about them after training.
“They’re both really well-grounded lads and you can see they weren’t really fazed by it.
“I thought Mitch was fantastic when he came on - he’s got a really bright future. He works hard and seems very composed, comfortable within himself.
“He made his debut in front of 17,000 people and I thought he looked like a natural.
“Congratulations to him and they’ve both got really big futures.
“We hope that we can help them along the way and anything we can do to improve them will be a bonus.”
And Candlin demonstrated that he can perhaps offer the Saddlers something different, following his brief appearance at Valley Parade last weekend.
“He’s very good in the air,” added Edwards. “A couple of times we’ve trained with him and he’s been a handful up front.
“He just seems so composed on the ball - nothing fazes him.
“This is a big stage to come and play. You can see in him he wants to learn and he takes everything on board.
“I see him more as a target man, someone we can play off, which is maybe what we’ve been missing this year a little bit.
“That’s good to have and the more he trains with us, the more he’s involved which will only benefit him. Hopefully he’ll keep in the team.
“I wasn’t that big at 16 as you can imagine! He’s got those physical attributes.
“He comes across as having that mental strength as well which is massive.
“The future seems bright for him and if we can help him along the way then fantastic.”