Despite another positive result for the Under 20’s on Tuesday evening, co-manager Neil Oliver has stressed to his players that more work off the park is the key to unlocking a call-up from first-team boss John Coughlin.
“We’re blessed with players that are up to scratch technically. But perhaps there are a few in there who should really be looking to use this Summer’s off-season as an opportunity to work on fitness.
“The likes of Barry Hogg and Regan Graham have impressed, but to really catch the eye they need to get super fit, become more aggressive on the park and ensure they’re ready for the physical demands of senior football.
“Jonny Fairbairn is the perfect example for our younger lads. He’s a now our club captain, is local and is a guy who still to this day puts extra training in, showing a great attitude throughout. If the lads who are looking to push on can follow a similar path, it’ll stand them in good stead.”
Oliver spoke after a 3-0 win over East Stirlingshire that saw the ‘Gers youth team boosted up into 4th place.
“We dominated the game without being great. They’ve not picked up anything on the road this season and they came here to defend and make life difficult for us, without ever really looking dangerous.
“That presented a different challenge for us – with more bodies in front of goal it makes it harder to get through. Scoring an early goal set us up for an easy night though, and that was pleasing. On another night perhaps we could have scored more but it was an important win and one without conceeding which is always a bonus.”
The Development Team only have three home games remaining this season, but all have been moved North due to pitch concerns. Despite the proximity to the off-season, Oliver insists that he is still concentrating on finishing the season on a high.
“Myself and Myles are still very much concentrating on this season’s squad. Most of the ldas with us are young enough to stay on next season which makes our job a little easier this Summer.
“But it’s an ongoing process – we’re always looking to improve so the likelihood is some players will move on and some will arrive. We do have a couple of targets in mind
“But it’s not over yet and we’ve still got a job to do. We’ve made great progress this season, but its only a start and its going to take time to grow.”