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Boss Throws Gauntlet Down To U-21s

15 October 2015

Alex boss says yung players have to earn the right to a squad number.

Steve Davis has thrown the gauntlet down to the club’s Under-21s to start pushing themselves into contention for a place in his first-team squad. The Alex boss has made a conscious effort this season not to hand his first-year professionals a squad number or first team shirt, believing that they have to earn the right.

From the Development Squad so far this season, Callum Ainley, 18, has made his senior debut as a substitute and the former Alsager Town midfielder Ryan Wintle has emerged as a potential first-team player for the future whilst George Cooper and James Baillie have featured for the senior team this season.

Defender Toby Mullarkey and goalkeeper Kieran Harrison have been given squad numbers after being drafted into the first-team squad in an emergency due to injuries.

Steve Davis told the club’s official web-site: “I made an effort this summer not to give the younger players a shirt or squad number. I wanted them to earn it and not just be given one after turning professional.

“They haven’t earned it yet and have struggled to adapt to the first team environment and making that consistent step up to Under-21 football. It is all very different from youth football and they have to come in every day with a strong work ethic to learn and listen to what is being said to them.

“It is down to them and we can only help them so much.”

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