Tamworth’s young players can hold their heads high according to Development Squad manager Jamie Relph, after a youthful Lambs side bowed out of the Staffordshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night.
A number of the club’s academy prospects made the squad including Sam Walton, Corey Samuels, Ryan Tait and Chandler Pegg.
Relph’s unbeaten side are sitting at the summit of the MFL Division Four table after a fine start to life in men’s football.
And after watching some of his players go toe-to-toe with Kidsgrove Athletic, he couldn’t be happier.
“The lads really stood up to the test,” he told Lambs Media. “What impressed me the most is that not a single player shied away from the challenge – they were all up for it.
“They really took this opportunity they were given by the club and I think they’ve shown to everyone that they are good enough to play at this level.
“You’ve got to remember, Kidsgrove are one league below our first team. And the lads really stood up to that challenge so all of them can be proud of themselves.
“It shows the good direction the club is going in,” he added. “This season, we made the decision to put the under-21s from last year into men’s football and I think tonight we’ve shown the benefits of that.”
Joint-manager Andrew Danylyszyn was also on the sidelines. And although the result might not have gone his side’s way – the performance of some of the club’s younger players gave him plenty of food for thought.
“I was delighted and overwhelmed at times in terms of the football we played,” he said. “At times I thought Kidsgrove were chasing shadows.
“They [Kidsgrove] played their same 16 that went to Cleethorpes on Saturday at Step 4 and they’re fighting for the play-offs in that league.
“They were absolutely tremendous in terms of their application and desire. I was so proud of the lads coming off the pitch. I’m disappointed with the result, but I’m proud of the lads for their application.”
MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: Kieran Riley Photography.