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Saunders Praises Young Players
Margate Manager Jay Saunders was firmly focused on the positives as The Gate look to shake off their mid-week defeat in the Kent Senior Cup and prepare for Saturday’s Buildbase UK FA Trophy tie against Tooting and Mitcham.
Speaking after Tuesday evening’s 4-1 defeat, Saunders said:
“After every game, I always look to focus on the positives that can be taken away and for me, I was pleased to give the opportunity to some young players to feature.”
“We had to change things up a little as we have a number of players including Kads, Sess and Swifty carrying niggles.”
“We’ve had a lot of games, some players have played a lot of minutes in recent weeks and it was a case of prioritising, as the games are only going to keep coming thick and fast, so we have to be sensible and manage the situation.”
“That being said, I was – and always have been – really keen to give young lads a chance. It was something I did a lot at Maidstone and the real positive from Tuesday night was the way the young players acquitted themselves in difficult circumstances.”
“The sending off killed us really but the team worked hard and the young players in particular will hopefully have taken a lot away from it.”
Margate Academy players Dre Barnard, Alfie Eyles and Ben Thornby were called into the squad for The Gate’s senior side for the first time and Saunders hopes there is more to come from youngsters involved in the player pathway at Hartsdown Park.
“The Academy boys deserved their chance, they slotted in really well and I would love to get a local lad through the ranks here. Like I said, it’s something I did a lot previously at Maidstone and I don’t think a youngster has come through for a while at Margate, so it is something we’re keen to do.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, Saunders hopes for a response in the competition and a positive display at home.
“I’m looking forward to the game, it’s nice to have this little run at home. The boys who weren’t involved on Tuesday will hopefully have benefitted from the rest and we can put on a good display.”
“We have been on a decent run of late and we’ll be looking to pick that back up at the weekend.”
Thursday, 07 November 2019
By Charlotte Richardson