Mansfield Town look set to send midfielder Jack Thomas out on loan to a non-League club to try to restore his confidence.
The 21-year-old was an instant hit and won player of the year at 18 when he burst onto the first team scene in the second half of 2014/15, having made his debut aged 17 at the end of the previous season.
But his progress stalled and he has been out on loan where current boss Steve Evans believes he has lost confidence through not playing.
Up-and-coming midfielder Lewis Collins, 20, is another set to go out for more experience.
“There may be one or two of the younger players who go out on loan that perhaps need to get game time – young Jack Thomas and young Lewis Collins,” said Evans.
“We have had a number of requests come in from non-League clubs. We have spoken to both lads this morning and they are open to it.
“They want to play. They are working incredibly hard but the quality we’ve got in the group at the minute says they are probably not going to be able to force themselves in in the short term.
“They are both good kids, both highly thought of, so that’s a possibility.”
Evans had told Thomas to show him in pre-season that he is good enough to stay with his hometown club and Thomas seems to have done enough to stay in the manager’s thoughts if not his initial squad.
“I think the kid is whole-hearted,” said Evans. “He gives you everything he’s got.
“Jack Thomas to me is a confidence boy and I think is confidence got knocked a little bit.
“He went up to Barrow and got completely messed about up there.
“I don’t think you want your kids to go out the building and get messed about. You just want people to be genuine with them.
“We didn’t feel that was always the case with Jack and he certainly doesn’t, speaking to him at length back at the end of the season and this week.
“If Jack does go out on loan we’ll pick his club with the best intentions that he’s going to play football as he needs to be playing.
“When we bring him back into the building we want that young, confident boy that broke into the scene 15 months.”