Promising young stars helped us prepare for FA Trophy admits King’s Lynn Town boss Gary Setchell
Gary Setchell believes the future of King's Lynn Town is in good hands after asking his teenage rising stars to make an indirect contribution to today's big FA Trophy clash.
The Lynn boss could be forgiven Lady Luck had abandoned him recently when he lost Danny Beaumont and Sam Mulready to injury and then had two influential players - centre-half Phil Gulliver and skipper Richard Bunting – red-carded.
But he takes the Linnets to Worksop for a first round clash this afternoon with no new injury scares to add to a recent worrying trend – opting to rest the majority of his senior players for the midweek League Cup defeat at home to Stamford and pitch in the youngsters.
And while the frontline troops will travel in strength because of their contribution, Setchell was delighted with the next generation of Linnets.
'I was really happy,' he said. 'We didn't play the big hitters like Steve Spriggs, Russell Dunkley, (Phil) Gulliver and you obviously lose a certain amount of physicality.
'But I just tried to do what was right for our club, really, which was give players games and look at youngsters and I thought each and every one of them showed massive positives - and I have got some valuable rest into some of the senior players at the same time.
'We had a lot of good performances out there against a Stamford side that had a lot of players with Evo-Stik Division One South experience.
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'Sam Stocker only had his 16th birthday a month or two ago – I watched him in the final of the under-16s last year and he didn't look out of place against more senior players. Chris Ward played at centre half, a difficult position, against good centre forwards who are regular first-teamers.
'We didn't let ourselves down, we kept going and it was a good performance from a good group of young lads. Neil (Fryatt) and Joff (Jonathan Hawes, reserve-team boss) over the last three years have been working hard with these boys and they are very well schooled, well organised and on the big occasion for the young lads they didn't let themselves or the club down. That made it pretty much an all-round good night, apart from the result.
'We are disappointed about the result, of course we are, but it was not about the results, it was all about King's Lynn and the bigger picture. And that picture is the Trophy game, the league and the future. We have big matches coming up in the league. We have just had two league defeats in the league and we need to get back on a points run.
'We have had a great start to the season and that is why it would have been silly for me to risk losing two or three players through injury or suspension just for the sake of a league cup match.
'We have been able to pick and choose our competitions this year – we want to finish in top five in the league, we want to do well in the FA Trophy, which we have done, and hopefully we can get one more tie out of it.'