After seeing several of his players thrive since making the step-up from their Development Squad, SJR Worksop boss Andrew Guest says more local youngsters could also feel the benefit.
Jaden Thackery made his debut last season for SJR. Now a regular in the side, he is the fourth-highest goal scorer in the Central Midlands League.
Another of the club’s young talents Luke Morris made the move to Worksop Town earlier this season and has made senior appearances for the Tigers before moving on loan to Parkgate.
And Guest is adamant he is seeing a marked improvement in some of his current crop since starting to play men’s football.
“We’ve had Jaden and Luke make the jump to our senior squad and the benefits have been there for all to see,” Guest says.
“Parents can sometimes be reluctant to let their kids move into adult football. I totally understand the worries and the fear of them getting hurt can be daunting.
“But having watched these lads development accelerate, it’s clear playing with much older, much stronger players can be a good thing.”
Guest has always been an advocate for local footballers from the town, giving many a chance after playing for the Development Squad.
Kian Smith, Theo Weaver, Ewan Birch and Reece King are a few names who could be ready to step up sooner or later, Guest says as he urges all young footballers to push themselves.
“I had no doubt either of Jaden or Luke would become top players anyway,” Guest said.
“By challenging themselves, they have jumped in front of all the lads their age in the local area.
“So my message to all the young footballers in the town is to challenge yourselves, push yourselves out of your comfort zone. Do that and just watch how your game improves.”