Young left-back Henri Wilder was pleased to provide the assist for the Stags' goal against York City in the EFL Youth Alliance this afternoon.
Wilder provided the cross for striker Nyle Blake to score the Stags’ goal in the 1-1 draw with York City this afternoon as he continues an excellent first season with the club.
The former Brighton & Hove Albion full-back believes that one of his strongest attributes – his high fitness levels – helped him to assist Blake for this afternoon’s goal.
“It was just a counter attack, I had the right-back in my pocket the whole game, and I was thinking that if we get away on the counter quickly that we would score. I had a good one two with Alistair [Smith] and it was finished really well.
“I think my ability to get up and down on the pitch [is one of my strengths] but also I think I’m very good at one versus one defending. I’m very strong in that position.”
After moving from soon-to-be Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion last summer, Wilder thinks that playing for Stags is helping him to prepare more thoroughly for playing adult football.
“I’d say there’s a lot of difference coming from playing category one [academy] football with Brighton but I do think it’s much better [at Mansfield].
“It’s a lot tougher; it prepares you for men’s football, and I think it’s just all round suited me better as a player.”
Whilst being practically an ever-present for academy manager John Dempster’s youth team this season, Wilder has also made a handful of appearances for Mike Whitlow’s under 21s.
One of those senior appearances was against a Grimsby Town side boasting more than 600 EFL appearances between them, and Wilder believes the experience is invaluable.
“It was a big step up coming from 17 [years old] to play against adults in men’s football, but I think it was a good experience for me and I think that I slotted in well into the team.”
To view Henri Wilder’s post-match interview, login to Stags PlayerHD.