Jon Grey | Fledgling duo must strive for further opportunities
Swansea City Under-23s coach Jon Grey has encouraged the fledgling duo of Josh Edwards and Joel Cotterill to use their appearances against Reading as motivation to strive for further opportunities.
Young midfielders Edwards and Cotterill – both regulars with the under-16s side – climbed off the bench in the development side’s 1-1 draw with the Royals in the Premier League Cup on Saturday.
For Edwards, 16, it was his second appearance with the under-23s, having made his debut as a 15-year-old during November’s defeat by West Ham United at Landore.
Meanwhile, under-15s midfielder Cotterill – a relative of former Swansea winger David – made his bow for the development side, despite only having 20 minutes of under-18s football under his belt in Premier League South.
Nevertheless, neither player looked out of place as they embraced the opportunity to step up under Grey.
But the under-23s coach has urged them not to get carried away and use the experience to spur them on for more.
“Both players deserve their opportunities at this level,” he said.
“They’ve been consistent performers this season for the under-16s.
“We decided that the Reading game was a good opportunity to introduce them to this environment and see how they reacted.
“In fairness, they took everything in their stride and performed really well on the pitch.
“We don’t want to rush these players; we want to try to dip them in and out and give them a bit of experience and motivation to improve.
“We had a good chat with the boys before the game on Saturday; explaining it will be an experience that they enjoy, and they must use it as motivation.
“It’s important that they don’t drop back down to their respective age groups and become big-time Charlies; they must set the standard and continue to work as hard as ever.”