BORO boss Rudy Funk looks set to blood more youngsters as the season draws to a close.
Funk has endured a non-stop start to his new role. He has been in the job just two weeks, but tonight takes charge of his fifth game, as Boro host Parkgate at Queensgate (ko 7:45pm).
Injuries to senior players could play a part in Funk taking a look at more of the club’s young stars in competitive situations.
Funk only sees that as positive, even if the youngsters’ have a lack of first team experience.
Funk said: “I have been impressed with younger players like James Webb, James Palmer and Josh Clayton. The club’s future is very bright.
“The more game-time they get the better. It is a big step for them – being thrown in at the deep end at a massive club – but now with less pressure on the side it is an ideal opportunity.”
Funk will definitely be without Joel Hartley and Brenton Leister for the visit of Parkgate. Bill Law, James Webb and James Palmer all came off with knocks on Tuesday at Winterton and are classed as doubtful.
But Funk is looking at the gaps in the squad as an opportunity for him to assess more of the clubs young stars.
“Many of the senior players are playing through knocks and bruises, and they have been for some time.
“Three of the back four on Tuesday played 120 minutes through injuries, and I have a lot of sympathy for them. They should all be given medals.
“But perhaps with the pressure on the side now off we can now see the Reserve and under-19s in action in a first team situation.
“We signed up more Reserves and under-19 players recently, who haven’t yet been tried out.
“Maybe now we can give them some time. They will make mistakes, but hopefully they won’t get a hard time from the crowd - they will be coming up against established sides who still have something to play for.
“They are a credit to their managers Steve Dorey and Steve Brennan, and we may uncover a gem or two. I am sure the fans will be appreciative of their efforts.”
Boro signed Luke Foster and Josh Davis of the Reserves, and under-19s Dom Barber, Nick Wheatman, Luke Jones and Danny Kelly before the registration deadline. Some of those lads may be involved this evening.
Parkgate come to Queensgate tonight on the back of a 5-1 win over Pickering Town in the league, and looking for a win to keep up with leaders Farsley and second-placed Bridlington Town.
And, like Boro, on Tuesday night they played out 120 minutes as their cup win - 4-3 against Sheffield FC in the Sheffield Senior Cup - went to extra-time.