Gary Smith has heaped praise on Tamworth’s younger players who turned out a solid performance against Royston Town on Tuesday night.
The Lambs played their first competitive game since the end of October but had their FA Trophy run stopped in its tracks by their Southern League counterparts.
Opportunities were given to a number of the club’s youngsters including 16-year-old scholar Lucas Yeomans.
Aidan Jeynes and Derrick Ikechukwu also featured while there were returns for Dan Creaney and Tyrell Waite after long lay-offs.
“I was so impressed with Lucas Yeomans, I think he’s going to be a tremendous player,” Smith said.
“He’s everything that a quality player is: he’s brave, he’s fearless and he’s played 90 minutes against a very strong Royston Town first team and he didn’t look out of place.
“I’ll be honest, he’s been showing that potential for a while. He’s been training with the first team, so we had no fear in him going out and playing in that position.
“I was also really happy and impressed with Aidan Jeynes. He’s waited a long, long time for his chance. He’s been in and around the first team before and he’s played a lot of development squad football and he’s been out on loan. I was pleased with him; he was excellent over the game.
“We’re definitely not scared about putting in the younger lads because if we didn’t it would make a mockery of having an academy. What would be the point in having an academy like we’ve got at Tamworth if you haven’t got anything coming through to the first team squad?
“Ryan Tait is another one, Charlie Shaw is back in the fold as well after his long lay-off, it’s a shame he didn’t get any minutes.
“I was impressed with Derrick [Ikechukwu] as well. He didn’t look out of place at centre-half when he came on for 15 minutes and he did a fantastic job.
“It’s obviously nice to see Dan Creaney back out on the pitch and also Tyrell Waite to getting some minutes.
“Overall, there were many positives to take out of Tuesday night although the preparation wasn’t what we wanted due to the restrictions. I was pleased with what we got out of that game.”