Watch Nick Chadwick on Tuesday night's Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Accrington Stanley.
- WATCH: Nick Chadwick on young Latics side losing to Accrington Stanley
- Chadwick praises Paul Cook for giving pathway to young players
- Chadwick: "The manager has given individuals opportunities already this season but tonight he gave them all a chance, and I’m really proud of them.”
Nick Chadwick praised first team manager Paul Cook for giving a number of the club’s academy squad opportunities during tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy clash against Accrington Stanley.
Chadwick, who took charge of the game alongside assistant manager Leam Richardson, said he was proud of all the players despite the outcome.
Theo Roberts, Anthony Plant and Will McGuffie all made their senior debuts, while Scottish midfielder Jensen Weir became the club’s youngest ever player at 15 years of age when he was brought on as a second half substitute.
After the game, Chadwick said: “The boys are disappointed because they’ve come off the back of a defeat but there’s a sense of pride amongst the staff because there were a number of the academy players out there playing against senior players. They acquitted themselves really well in spells.
“It was a great experience for them in terms of their journey and their development. The manager has given individuals opportunities already this season but tonight he gave them all a chance, and I’m really proud of them.”
Stanley took a two goal lead into half time and further extended their advantage in the second half, but Chadwick believes the club’s younger players will benefit from the experience.
“I thought we were in the game for large parts but I would have liked them to have shown a bit more belief. If they’d worked the ball in the final third like they do on a Saturday morning then they might have found themselves in good positions, but it was a new experience for a lot of them and they’ll be better for it.
“I’m delighted with their performances both individually and collectively but it’s about development and if they keep giving me good performances then the likely output is that they’ll win games. They’ve picked up seven wins on the bounce and I’m really happy with them, they’ve got exciting futures.”
The Under 18’s coach added that the game was a special moment for Jenser Weir and his family as he became the club’s youngest ever player.
“It’s great credit to all the staff at Christopher Park for their hard work. We’ve got some really good players and Jensen is one of those. I don’t think the manager has given these players an opportunity because he has to, I think he’s done it because he feels they’re deserving of it. They’ve earned the right to play and it was a really proud moment for Jensen to break the record tonight.”