Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury Town youngsters having to bide their time

Breaking into the team can be difficult for any young player and they have to make sure they take their opportunity when they get it.


Salop youngsters Luca Whitney and Jack Loughran have been on the fringes of the Shrewsbury Town squad this season.

Loughran has made his senior debut in three competitions featuring in the EFL Trophy, the FA Cup and making his league bow in the 1-0 defeat at Burton Albion.

Whitney made his League One debut for Shrewsbury on Boxing Day when Salop lost to Cheltenham.

At various points this season Salop have had an 'injury crisis' which left them short of first-team players and the youngsters have been on the bench.

But since Hurst has come in as head coach and senior players have recovered from injury - they have not been seen as much.

And Hurst says they have trained with the first team on occasion since he arrived.

He said: "They have trained very limited sessions with us. I have watched them in the youth team a couple of times. They played in the Kidderminster game, but I think in terms of them being involved with the squad that was circumstance I would suggest.

"You would have to check with Matt (Taylor) but pretty certain without being too unkind to those lads, as they have done well in terms of the youth team and they have probably jumped ahead of some older lads because I was surprised to hear they were first year's in terms of youth team players but I don't think they would have been in the match day squads.

"That is not saying that to be unkind to them, but I think sometimes this is what you get with players. Some players might get X amount of appearances at certain clubs, but they might not really have earned it, it is purely just circumstance.

"You have to put 11 players on the team sheet to start with and try to make a bench up. Sometimes even people in football can be fooled by seeing a name on a team sheet. Some clubs do it on purpose as well to try and generate interest 'Oh he must be good as he is on the bench.' Watch them first. He might have potential, or maybe there is a bit of game going on.

"It was not done in terms of a game here. In terms of pecking order and who was available they earned that right, but at the minute they are not of the quality and standard that we available to us at this moment in time."

Josh Bailey, Delcan Hutchings and Nana Owusu signed contracts back in the summer, but they have not featured at all this campaign.

"They have trained more with us," he added. "But again not had the kind of impact or certainly jumped ahead of who are in the main more senior pros."