Shrewsbury Town’s Head of Academy Coaching, Eric Ramsay, is hopeful that last night’s defeat to Shawbury United in the Shropshire Senior Cup will be a learning curve for the club’s young players.
Town were the better side in the first-half, but a penalty miss from Chris Gallagher seemed to take the wind out of Town’s sails and Shawbury eventually won on penalties.
“It was really frustrating”, Eric told ShrewsWeb.
“It certainly didn’t go to plan in the sense that we never really got going and we never had full control of the game.
“We were uncharacteristically poor in possession and I don’t think we demonstrated the levels of quality that we’ve got in that group, which is really disappointing because it was such a good stage to go and do it on.”
Town went into the game with seven professional players, including the five first-year scholars and Ramsay was frustrated that they didn’t make more of an impact in front of Paul Hurst and his coaching staff.
“It was disappointing for our young pro’s today”, said Ramsay.
“I think we were hoping that a couple of them would have really stepped up to the mark and taken the game by the scruff of the neck and although they showed in patches why they’d got those deals, I think the performance was well below what we would expect and what they would expect of themselves.
“It’s really important they step up when it counts and when they are under the gaze of the first-team management they’ve got to do it and they’ve got to show why they should be in that first-team squad and potentially the starting line-up.”
Eric is now hopeful that Town’s younger players will learn from this experience and improve through the rest of the season.
“The approach for the Academy players after a game like tonight is that it’s a learning curve”, said Eric.
“It was a difficult environment in the fact that it felt like a cup final for Shawbury and that they were playing under the scrutiny of the manager and his assistants, and that can become a difficult situation for a young player.
“Learning how to deal with that scrutiny in a game like tonight is massive and I think it’s the players that can handle a situation like tonight that will ultimately go on and make the next step.
“Everything we spoke about before the game emphasised the mental side of things and being able to deal with what is a difficult situation, so the positive is that we have identified that as an area that we’ve got to improve and we’ve got the season to improve it now.”