High hopes for Stags youngsters

Three Stags youngsters recently called up by English Colleges.
Three Stags youngsters recently called up by English Colleges.

Steve Evans has high hopes for some members of Mansfield Town’s current youth team.

The young Stags are flying high at the top of their league and only exited the FA Youth Cup on penalties against Premier League Crystal Palace last week.

“It’s a good age group for us and I think there’s two or three promising players in there and we are looking forward to seeing if they can progress into the U21s and, more importantly, into the reserves side,” said Stags boss Evans.

“That puts them clearly then in the eyes of us and whether they’re good enough to come and train with the first team.

“It’s difficult. You can be a really good player at U18 level and people think you should be competing with the Byroms and the Roses.

“But they step up to the first team and show what they are – young kids.

“But we desperately need two or three young kids to come through and be in the first team as nothing beats energy and youth. We’d rather have that than older players.”

The penalties exit came just 24 hours after the first team also lose on spot kicks in the Checkatrade Trophy at Blackpool and Evans said: “After a penalty shoot-out you often hear supporters all round the country saying – do they practice?

“Every single day we practice penalties. But it doesn’t put the nerves into the situation when there is a big support there and everyone’s watching whether you can stick the ball in the net.”