First-team debuts will only help Boston United youth team trio improve, says boss Craig Elliott

Teenagers Jamie Gaukroger, Will Jackson and Harry Cranfield impressed manager Craig Elliott as they made first-team debuts for Boston United.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 8:22 am
Boston United youngsters Jake Frestle, Harry Cranfield, Will Jackson and Jamie Gaukroger.

The three under 19s players and keeper Jake Frestle were named on the bench for last Tuesday’s 4-2 county cup win against Grantham Town, with the trio of outfield players being brought on in the final 10 minutes.

“It was important the lads were involved, a few of them have been training with us at Doncaster,” Elliott told The Standard.

“For them to sample match day in the first team and get on the pitch, it’s a big thing for them.

“It’s ticked off what a good night it was.”

Elliott believes the highly-competitive nature of the National League North may not always be the best way to test young hopefuls,so he was delighted to see them in action in midweek.

He added: “Because of the league we’re in, it’s always hard to dip them into league action.

“So when you get competition like this it’s important to give them game time. They’ll be the better for it.

“It is a big jump. There were a few good passes as well. They got on the ball well.

“The experience, being here for the team talks, warm-ups and sampling it on the pitch with a bigger crowd will stand them in good stead.”

Also named on the bench was 43-year-old first-team coach Lee Stratford.

“He does join in in training, but he was just an emergency as there were certain players who I didn’t want to risk,” confirmed Elliott, who is no stranger to Stratford’s ability as a player.

“He played for me at Glasshoughton. We won a cup and a promotion so he has played for me before, but it was only in case of an emergency.”