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David Longwell reflects on tonight's Papa John's Trophy game

30 August 2022


David Longwell reflects on tonight's Papa John's Trophy game

30 August 2022

First-team coach David Longwell spoke to the press following the Papa John's Trophy clash against Wolves.

Longwell, who is also academy director, led the team with manager Steve Cotterill watching on from the stands.

Town took the lead in the cup clash through Travis Hernes but they suffered heartbreak when Wolves' Joe Hodge netted two late goals.

Despite the result, though, Longwell was immensely proud to see 12 Town players make their professional debuts - with Shrewsbury's youthful side impressing on the night.


“It's disappointing to lose late on which we didn’t deserve. To take on Wolves with the kids tonight is a real credit to the football club first and foremost as we had so many 16-year-olds out there making their professional debuts.

"The gaffer has been brilliant to give them the opportunity which doesn't happen at many clubs to be honest, but I think they went out there and did incredibly.  

“To have 10 outfield players starting all out of our academy and the subs to come on as well is a real credit to the football club and the effort that goes on behind the scenes.” 


“Because of the number of games we've had on Saturday and Tuesday, it's quite a gruelling fixture list so I think it's an opportunity to throw the youngsters in. 

“It's important to give our young senior players a game but they are only 18, the likes of Josh Barlow and Tom Bloxham.

"They were the older players but the rest of them are 16 or 17 so it was an opportunity to give them a chance to play and give our first team's lads a rest with league fixtures coming up.  

“The manager and I could not be prouder of the players as it was such as positive night. They were so unfortunate as they didn’t deserve to lose."


"It was always going to be tough because you are playing against older players and Wolves who are a Premier League team.

"The majority of our boys have just come in full time and there are some boys who have just signed from grassroots teams a year ago. It's incredible how much they have come on.

"The majority of the staff such as Gary Wharton who does the recruitment for our academy does an incredible job and the work the coaches do to help them develop is there to be seen.  

“To run Wolves as close as we did, they deserved to go to penalties without a doubt it's just unfortunate that we lost two late goals but listen what a great night for our football club and the academy.”  


“Travis just under a year ago had trouble with his back, he is growing and when he came back from the turn of the year he has just kicked on since then.

"If you see how well he has developed, he is a really good footballer and to come off the bench and score a goal like that it's what dreams are made of.  

“It's just unfortunate that we didn’t see it out a little bit longer and then he could have been going home to say he scored a winner in a cup game. It's brilliant for him he is such a lovely kid and I'm delighted for him and his family.” 


“If you look at the back four you have Kade (Craig), Josh (Bailey), Nana (Owusu) and Declan (Hutchings) I think that is the youngest back four we have ever had at Shrewsbury in a match.

"I thought they were incredible how well they defended, they limited them to hardly anything.

"I think we needed to be a little bit better with the ball but as the game went on, we did okay with the ball we just needed to be a little better with it.

"There are so many nerves and that excitement with the boys in the first half as they kept winning the ball back and then giving it away and we just needed to calm down a little bit.

"I thought they were brilliant in the second half, they got into the game more and created some chances and fortunately took one of them.


“They were brilliant for these kids.

"To come here and play in front of a crowd, that is the first time some of these boys have played in a stadium and in front of a crowd.

"You have to give them credit as we have so many 16-year-olds starting and coming on.

"Even for me, it's quite unbelievable what has happened tonight."


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