Mansfield Town have sent out a quartet of promising youngsters for a month on loan at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League side Carlton Town, managed by former Stags player Les McJannett.
Strikers Dan Fletcher and Anthony Dwyer plus midfielders Corbin Shires and Chris Spencer all helped the Millers come from 2-0 down at half-time at Leek Town last night to win 3-2, Fletcher weighing in with a brace.
With fellow teenager Jack Thomas making an impact on the Stags’ first team this week after a successful loan spell at Hednesford in the Conference North, Mansfield have high hopes for this next crop of youngsters.
First team coach Richard Cooper said: “It will give these young lads some experience of what we’d call proper Saturday afternoon 3pm kick-offs. It will them an insight into what winning is all about.
“We went to watch them last night and they did well. They were 2-0 down at half-time and managed to turn it round and win which is no mean feat.
“Dan scored twice straight after half-time before someone else got the winner. Towards the end when the ball was coming into the box a lot as they went for the equaliser, Corbin stood tall. It was a good first game for them.”
He added: “We have had a link with Les for a couple of years now Jack and Liam (Marsden) went there. I know Les was here so we know they are going to a club who will look after them and treat them in the right way.
“It is real football. It matters. It’s a chance to play with supporters round the pitch and where winning actually means something.
“They are doing really well in the youth league on a Saturday morning and play reserve games whenever they can, though fixtures are a bit depleted.
“It will give them confidence – different surroundings, different voices. Then it will be up to them to get into our first team on merit.
“Jack’s success is great credit to Hednesford. It can recharge you and refocus you and he has come back in and had two outstanding games.”