Rick Ashcroft, Head of Academy Coaching, is hopeful that the youth team players are starting to find their stride after a tricky start to the season.
“It’s something we’ve been searching for,” Ashcroft told Dale Player.
“We haven’t really rolled from result to result or week to week because we’ve had too many inconsistencies, which does happen from time to time when you’ve got new lads coming in, first years becoming second years etc.
“It has been a difficult period in terms of that – in the past it hasn’t been that way as we have been able to hit the ground running.
The signs are there, some of the results are there but more importantly the recent performances are starting to mirror what we want. That will then give us the end product which will be the results.”
After juggling injuries for most of the season, Ashcroft can report a clean bill of health.
“We’ve missed certain individuals for different periods of time. We’ve had periods where we’ve had everybody available and then it has been a bit sporadic but that’s football and it happens. It creates opportunities for others and also means that they’ve got to fight for their places when everyone is available, which is what they want.
“We’re hoping that we’re starting to find a little bit of form in terms of performances and results, but also being able to get everyone across that white line.”
Amongst those to return from injury is forward Matthew Gillam.
He had missed much of the season so far after suffering an eye injury. Ashcroft is pleased to see him back in action.
“Matt missed seven or eight weeks where he couldn’t do anything due to his freak eye injury. He’s come back and has hit the ground running for five weeks. He has hit the wall a few times but he has given us everything he has got.
“The signs are starting to show that he’s coming near to where we want him to be, which is pleasing for us but more importantly it’s pleasing for him and his confidence as well.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.