Town First-Team Coach Ross Embleton felt Tuesday’s Central League Development fixture against Peterborough United served its purpose in terms of giving valuable minutes to a mixture of fringe players and youngsters.
A strong Posh side, able to boast the likes of Ricardo Almeida Santos, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Michael Bostwick and George Moncur amongst their ranks yesterday, ran out 5-2 winners at the Mick George Training Ground thanks to a Mathew Stevens’ hat-trick and further efforts from Santos and Nathan Oduwa.
Town’s two goals came courtesy of a trialist but Embleton was more pleased with the fact that the likes of Will Henry, Anton Rodgers, Jake Evans, Tom Smith, Ellis Iandolo and a number of the club’s Academy players all got much-needed game time.
“Playing in any game like that when it is in a league means we do want to put a team out to try and win the game, but we have to understand that there is a bigger picture and it is about trying to give different players at different stages of their career the things that they need,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.
“We had the likes of Anton Rodgers, Bradley Barry, Will Henry, Jake Evans, Tom Smith and Ellis Iandolo who have all had varied levels of first-team experience, so it was important for them to get some time out on the pitch.
“If they are not involved in first-team fixtures then it is trying to look towards how they develop and getting them ready for what will hopefully be a long career at Swindon Town and also a long career for them.
“If you look at Scott Twine, Louis Spalding, Will Christopher and Mason Hathaway who all started the game and who are all youth-team players, they were playing against players like Michael Bostwick who’s had a very, very long career, George Moncur who is a Championship player now and Nathan Oduwa who has played for Rangers, so there is a huge amount of experience in their line-up.
“Although we would have liked to put in a stronger performance in terms of a result, it is important that they learn from that experience of playing up against players with that level of quality.”
Embleton was also pleased to see Brad Barry come through 60 minutes of action unscathed as the defender now looks to make his first-team return following a hamstring injury.
“It was the plan for Brad to play 45 minutes and then to gauge the intensity of his own performance and what the game looked like,” he added.
“When the game got to half-time he felt he had a little bit longer in him so we managed to get him an hour’s football, so that gives him an opportunity now to come back into the group and hopefully be ready to put up a fight to get back in the team.
“It is assessing him now and making sure that he’s physically capable to train day in and day out.
“It is also making sure that he’s able to compete physically when he goes out on the pitch and that his own fitness levels are of the level required for him to be able to perform.”