Tranmere Rovers’ Head of Youth Shaun Garnett is hoping his youngsters will benefit from a weekend off as they prepare for the visit of Crewe Alexandra in the FA Youth Cup.
Rovers face Crewe Alexandra in the second round of the competition on Wednesday at Prenton Park, but after a 4-0 reverse at Walsall last weekend their third game in eight days, Garnett was happy to have a clear weekend ahead of the Youth Cup clash.
Rovers had looked weary in losing 4-0 at Walsall in the Youth Alliance with three of the Saddlers goals coming in the final fifteen minutes of that fixture.
“I was a bit easy on the lads after the Walsall game because they’ve had a long trip to Darlington the previous weekend than played extra time to win at Stockport in the first round of the FA Youth Cup on Monday,” said, Garnett.
“That’s a demanding schedule for boys of 16, 17 and 18 – and something they will have to get used to. In terms of professionalism they are going to have to adjust their lifestyle to get the rest they need between games.”
Garnett will also hope that he will be able to call upon the talents of young forward Dale Jennings who has been hitting the headlines for the first-team over recent weeks.
Jennings hit the winner as Rovers overcame Plymouth in League One at the weekend, his fourth goal in nine starts and his fellow forward Ian Thomas-Moore believes Rovers have unearthed yet another fine prospect.
“Dale is a breath of fresh air. I remember when I first got into the team as a youngster. You don’t worry about anything at that age other than the fact that you are in the team.”
“You are playing against older, well-known players, sometimes famous people, and you take it in your stride. That’s what Dale is doing. He is quite a level-headed boy. He is one of the most talented boys I have seen come into the game since I have been involved in football.”
“He’s got great pace, skill and his finishing is brilliant. He has every chance.”