Head Coach Mat Sadler admits that he came close to handing 16-year-old first year scholar Dylan Thomas his first professional start in Tuesday night’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion Under-21s.
Despite him not starting the game, the teenager, who will pick up his GCSE results on Thursday morning, did come on to make his professional debut for the Saddlers with 15 minutes left to play.
The Head Coach has been impressed with the youngster over the course of the summer and season so far during training and was pleased to hand him his first taste of first team football.
“Dylan has been great,” began Sadler. “He is 16-years-old, he has come and trained with us most days throughout the season so far and every time he comes up you think today is going to be the day that he isn’t quite going to be at it and he never looks like that.
“He has earned that appearance tonight not through anything other than the way he trains with us day in, day out.
“I thought about starting him tonight if I am being honest but in the end I chose not to but I am glad that we got him some minutes.”
Another player who received plaudits off the Head Coach was Oisin McEntee. The versatile McEntee donned the armband with Club captain Donervon Daniels amongst the substitutes during Tuesday’s defeat against the Seagulls and Sadler revealed that McEntee, who was on the scoresheet in the defeat, epitomises everything he likes in a player.
“I absolutely love Oisin,” Sadler continued. “He is a fantastic person and he epitomises everything I like in a football player, he gives absolutely everything.
“I have spoken about him before and everyone is aware that I want to play him one further forward and I think he adds a lot more to us when he plays in the midfield areas but of course he has the ability, the nous and the knowhow to play in the back three when we do play that.
“He is a person who is doing extremely well for us but as I say, I just want him that little bit further forward. Wherever he plays for us though he gives his absolute all and that’s what I like about him.”