Mansfield Town under-19s are back in action this Saturday for a Youth Alliance League fixture against Harrogate Town at York St John Sports Park (12pm kick-off).
Ahead of Saturday’s fixture against the Sulphurites, PDP lead coach Sam Collins spoke to www.mansfieldtown.net, and said: “The lads returned to training on Tuesday, which doesn’t give us long to prepare for the game against Harrogate but it is what it is and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready. We’re hoping the rest over Christmas and New Year will have done the players good.
“Harrogate have improved a lot and it won’t be an easy game. We’ve got to make sure we’re good when in and out of possession.”
When asked about the chances of players featuring from a younger age group, Sam said: “There's a chance that two or three of the under-16 lads will feature with some of the under-19s being out on work experience loan and Taylor [Anderson] being involved with the first-team in recent weeks.”
Defensive midfielder Charlie Carter and goalkeeper Louie Turner have gone out on work experience loan over the Christmas period, joining Gainsborough Trinity and Long Eaton United, respectively.
“It's brilliant for them to be exposed to men's football and understand the changes there are from the youth side of the game.
“It’s great for them to get a feel of what it’s like to be in an environment that's more about winning than development.”
Full-back Taylor Anderson (18) has been involved in first-team pre-match warm-ups on a number of occasions over the last month as well as appearing on the bench for Stags’ Sky Bet League Two defeat to Walsall on New Year's Day.
“It’s absolutely brilliant to have an academy player feature in the first-team squad," said Sam.
“As coaches working within the academy, that's what we aim to do, get players ready to be involved with the first-team.
“It’s great for Taylor as well as ourselves and we’re pleased with how he’s done. Overall he's been great.”
As ever, all supporters are welcome to attend the game for FREE at the following venue: York St John Sports Park, Nestle Rowntree Park, Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA