David Longwell reflects on Town's under-18's 1-0 loss to Port Vale.
Shrewsbury Town’s Academy suffered their first defeat of the season on the weekend at the hands of Port Vale.
The young Shrews dominated the game but were unable to prevent the Staffordshire side from securing a narrow 1-0 win.
Town’s Academy Manager, David Longwell, was frustrated with the result but felt the Salop under-18 side can learn from the experience.
On the fixture:
“It was a really disappointing result because of the run the lads were on. A couple of factors went against us and some complacency crept in. The conditions were difficult too. The strong wind didn’t really suit us as we like to play good football.
“It’s a disappointing result. The first-half was very poor but the second-half was much better. We definitely deserved something from the game – we had enough chances.
“In fairness to Port Vale, their lads worked really hard. That took a little bit away from what we were trying to do. We struggled to deal with the conditions and Port Vale worked hard.
“From our point of view, we under performed. Some of the lads did play well. Tom Bloxham was good in the first-half. In the second-half, we were much better and did have a number of chances.
“It was one of those days where we just couldn’t score. Sometimes that happens in football. The pleasing thing was their response in the second-half. It’s a cliché but you do learn more when you lose.”
On the next fixture with Salford:
“Salford were very good last year. I am assuming Salford will have a similar squad as before. They have a big name behind them with the owners of the club. It will be a hard game for the lads. The good thing is that we are at home.
“Hopefully the conditions are a bit better and we can actually play football – last week was tough. Being at home will suit the boys better.”
On the Academy pathway into the first-team:
“I’ve only been here a short time but the long-term plan is to get players into the first-team to play regularly. Louis Lloyd who is only 16 was on the first-team bench for a league game last week.
“Tom, who is also only 16, was on the bench and actually came on which is fantastic for everybody. Nigel was on the bench too, which is really pleasing. It gives them the incentive. There will always be little opportunities.
“A lot of the lads have trained with the first-team this year and a lot of them played pre-season games – there is a lot of positives. That’s the biggest thing we are trying to do.
“All you will ever be judged on is how many lads progress. There are definitely a few in there who have good potential as long as they keep working hard and progressing.”