Writer: Mike Field
Date:Thursday May 21 2009
The little man has spoken out on the official site and proved to everyone he could have a second career in the National Lottery by reminding his team mates that It Could Be YOU! who next gets picked by Martin O'Neill to make the step up to action for the first team.
'The performances of Marc and I in the reserves obviously caught the manager's eye and we have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the first team.
'Marc and I have been the lucky ones really. We played in Russia but it could so easily have been Ciaran, Shane or Eric. They could have been playing but we were chosen and that was brilliant.'
Many of us were hoping we'd see some of this bunch making the step up and whilst Clark has found himself on the bench regularly of late, only Bannan and Albrighton (other than Delboy obviously) have had a crack at showing fans what they can do in the first team.
If we strengthen properly in the window, we should see some of these folks become alternate regulars on the bench.
It's always a huge step up from reserve football to the first team, and usually it matters not how talented a footballer you are, but they are all of the age now where then need to be breaking through and becoming bit part players if nothing more.
It's a hard balance introducing newbies to the team, but it has to be done and no doubt it shall be.
Another element of difference between resverve football and first team is obviously the size of the crowd. Not only is a loan spell useful for competative action but it's a good way to introduce a young player to a much bigger and fierce crowd more slowly.
Now we can debate all day long whether players are affected by the fans when they are regulars and on tens of thousands of pounds a week, but for youngsters it would be naive to believe the crowd didn't intimidate them and add nerves to the occassion.
Bannan appreciates that and believes that those who haven't had a chance to taste first team action or be involved on the bench will benefit hugely from the increased crowd for Thursday's play off final.
'It's good to play in front of big numbers - you have to do it at some point in your career.
'If the fans do come and support us, it will be a good learning curve for some of the younger boys in the squad. They'll learn a lot from that and it will stand them in good stead. It's up to them to see if they can handle the occasion.'
Date:Thursday May 21 2009
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