New Worksop Town boss Ryan Hindley was full of praise for the club’s new young centre half pair of Jed Philips and Jack Hague after an unlucky last gasp 3-2 home friendly loss to Sheffield Wednesday U23s on Monday.
And Hindley promised he would give youth its chance this season if they are doing the business.
Hague, 20, arrived from Dronfield while Hindley went back to his former club for 19-year-old Phillips and the manager said: “The shining lights from the new signings would be Jed and Jack so far. “They have both been a fresh of fresh air which is nice to see from two centre halves as normally people are talking about strikers or attacking midfielders.
“The thing I looked at before getting the job was that we’d conceded too many goals last season. In all my time of playing for Worksop and following them I have never known having negative equity on goals.
“So it’s great I am saying so far in pre-season the centre halves have been outstanding and it bodes well.”
He added: “I have been after Jack for a while, I have always liked him.
“When you are 67ft 6ins and you are good on the ball and you’re ahead of your years in terms of your shape and how you defend, then you have something to work with. He still has stuff to learn, but he’s only 20 years old.
“He is a fantastic asset as he showed attacking set pieces and scoring a goal. But his defensive work was good too and he doesn’t get flustered.
“He could be a bit braver but we will work on that with him.
“Jed is only 19 and was young player of the year two years on the trot at Hallam. So we’re delighted to have him on board.
“It does show the young players at the club and around South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire that if you are good enough you will play at Worksop.
“I said to two young players the other day if you have aspirations of getting back into the Football League or playing at a higher level, no one has ever signed a substitute.
“I said the likelihood is you can get offered more money at other clubs, but you probably won’t play as the first people to get left out are the 18/19-year-olds.
“I am more interested in people that are willing to run through brick walls for me than experience.
“These young lads are all working to the maximum for me and I will give them opportunities. If you get one and take it you will stay in the team – it doesn’t matter if you are 19 or 39.
“I am delighted with the majority of the new signings, though one or two have still got a bit to do. I don’t mince my words, I never have done.
“We might need more bodies before the end of pre-season. We have signed players but if they are not willing to deliver what we want they will be moved on.”
Hague and Kyle Jordan were Tigers’ scorers against Wednesday when, with the scores balanced at 2-2 at the death, the visitors snatched a win with a late penalty from George Hirst.
Hindley said “I thought the boys, to a man, were absolutely outstanding – their shape, their work rate and how we used the ball when we’ve got it.
“We were patient. We knew we wouldn’t see much of the ball as these are full-time professionals.
“We had to keep our shape and our discipline. It’s like a game of chess. It’s when people start getting raggy and trying to chase things they don’t need to, good players pick you off. So I was delighted with our shape.
“If that level of work rate, determination and keeping a shape and application stays there we will win a lot more games than we lose.”