Stewart’s delight as Athletic managers look to the future

Seventeen-year-old Jamie Stewart in action for Boro's Reserves
Seventeen-year-old Jamie Stewart in action for Boro's Reserves

Since the departure of Rudy Funk Scarborough Athletic have already seen noticeable changes to how the squad is being handled under joint- managers Bryan Hughes and Paul Foot.

One key alteration is the introduction of the younger starlets, who are being handed more of a first-team opportunity.

That switch in focus was underlined on Tuesday night when Boro took on their under-19s in a friendly at Hull United’s Dene Park.

The first team won by a 3-1 scoreline due to a Ryan Blott double and one from James Bennett.

Josh Venner’s cool finish pulled one back for the youngsters.

It wasn’t about the scoreline though, it was more of about the opportunity for Hughes and Foot to cast their eye over the club’s youth.

In the past couple of weeks, a couple of players from the under-19s have been blooded in the first team squad.

The new approach seems to have been well received by supporters, who praised the performance of full-back Jamie Stewart after his solid debut, coming on to replace Steve Gardner in the 11th minute in the 2-1 defeat to Northwich.

Stewart said; “It was a great experience, I was buzzing when I got the chance,

“Under-19s manager Steve Roberts rang me to tell me I would be playing and I got 80 minutes when I only expected to get five or 10”.

He then expressed how much he was enjoying playing in the under-19s and now the first team.

He added: “I’m absolutely loving it, it’s great. Playing for your home team at 17 years old, it can’t really get much better for me at the moment.”

On the arrival of managers Hughes and Foot, Stewart added: “Nobody from the under-19s really got a chance to play in the first team under the previous manager, but now everyone is signed on and a few of us were included again last Saturday.”

Another name that has recently been introduced to the full squad is Jordan Oliver, who is 18, he is Boro under-19s captain and has been in the first-team squad recently.