Paul Hurst happy to put his trust in the Shrewsbury Town kids
Paul Hurst is conscious youthfulness can yield naivety, but won’t bring in experienced heads just to bump up Shrewsbury Town’s average age.
Championship outfit Aston Villa were confidently swept aside at the Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday as Hurst fielded a starting XI with an average age of just 23.
Five new additions were included from the off in the 2-1 victory, while the other four summer additions arrived from the bench as two late goals clinched victory.
Hurst sought to add more hunger, drive and athleticism in his summer shopping and insists that plays a part in the youthful set-up. But he accepts that with inexperience could bring naivety.
He referenced pundit Alan Hansen’s infamous insight into Manchester United’s Class of ‘92 in his assessment of Town’s bright youngsters. “I’m not sure if more experience is needed,” Hurst admitted. “There’s the famous Manchester United quote ‘you never win anything with kids’ and they did alright.
“But that said there was a core of senior players which can be easily forgotten because of the quote.
“The average age of our starting line-up was 23. I think signs are good but I’m conscious of that.
“We’re probably going to have a little bit of naivety about us and we’ve got to try and make those young lads learn quickly. If we can add one or two with a bit more experience (then we will) but that’s not an absolute be-all-and-end-all. If I feel someone’s better and he’s another young lad then that’s what we’ll add to it.”
Hurst’s squad contains just three players aged 30 or above. The boss didn’t rule out more experienced additions but is content with the know-how that sections of his squad offers.
He added: “Against Villa we had Toto (Nsiala), who is new to this level still, but has a lot of games under his belt, he’s a senior lad and a leader.
“Abs (Ogogo) has played a few games now and is not a baby. Shaun Whalley and (Louis) Doddsy too, it’s sprinkled. But even some of those experienced lads aren’t the wrong side of 30.
“We’ve got Sads (Sadler), Louis and Alex Rodman the only players 30 or above in the squad.
“It wasn’t a definitive that we weren’t going to sign anyone of that age but I was very conscious that we want lads that are athletic, mobile and hungry.”