Goalkeeping coach Gary Phillips spoke to Boro Player after this afternoon’s friendly with Southend United, about how practice games can be a real benefit to the players in the first team squad who have not had a lot of game time lately and how it is also a good opportunity to give the youth players a test against some top professionals.
Boro took on the Shrimpers on Wednesday and had a number of players on show who have not played much recently and Gary explained how important these types of game are for getting some game time under their belts.
“Game time is important for the players as there are a number of players in the first team squad who have not played for a number of weeks. As you have seen today some of them need more of this but it is a step up and they have been training hard but when you play a game against a professional side you get more out of it.”
The home side also had a number of youth team players in the team such as youth captain George Allen and Jhai Dhillon and Gary believes this experience will only help them in their progression.
“Both teams had couple of youngsters playing today but you need them to come in and show what they have got. It is one of those situations where we are able to put two, three maybe four out sometimes and it is great experience for them as they are playing against proper professionals and it shows you what sort of standards they are up to.”
He continued: “They still need work of course they do and if they don’t train properly and work hard in these games and don’t learn then they won’t improve. Good professionals like Freddie Eastwood will test George [Allen] but he did ok and I watched him the other week in the FA Youth Cup and the whole team was terrific.”
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