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Rob’s challenge to young Dons after their debuts

27 October 2021

Rob Tuvey said that our young prospects have been set a challenge to help push forward their development after last night’s Papa John’s Trophy defeat.

Our Assistant Head Coach felt that the performance lacked conviction on the big stage, but that was certainly understandable for teenage talents making their debuts.

“I think we looked nervous at times. For some of them it was the first time playing in front of a crowd at our home. It was also their debuts as well. We challenged them afterwards to reflect honestly, to assess how they put their personalities on the game. Once they reflect on that it will be interesting to hear their feedback. Then we’ve got to look at the first-team squad players and ask if they put their personalities on it as well. They’ve got to reflect on if it was the right information being given and did they stamp their authority on the game enough? At times we tried to, but I think on too many occasions we came up short in that department.”

Asked about the individual performances of Quaine Bartley, Josh Hallard, Isaac Olaniyan, and Luke Jenkins after they started a first-team game for the first time, Rob said: “I thought at times that Quaine did well, but he’s still learning the game.

"We have to remember that they are going through an education process as scholars, and he’s getting better and better all of the time. There were elements of Quaine’s game that were really good, I thought he held the ball up well at times, but there are also parts of his game that he needs to improve upon. That comes through education, sitting down with the analysis team, James and myself, and making sure that he’s looking to improve upon that performance.

“There are certain things that he does naturally in an Under-18s game that he held back on doing. We need to provide more experience and more exposure to this type of game through loans to help him stamp his authority on a game, and be his authentic self.

“I thought that Josh Hallard did well throughout. Isaac and Luke are coming back from long-term injuries, so we know that they are in the early part of their rehabilitation, and they are still trying to come back to full strength. They are only going to get better with games and the training. It’s pleasing to have them back out there as I know the work that Jenna Richards and the academy team have done to get them to this stage, and that has been fantastic.”

The picture above shows Josh Hallard in action last night (photograph by Ian Stephen, Pro Sports Images). Listen to Rob Cornell's interview with Luke Jenkins by clicking on the link below.


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