DAVE Kiteley has praised his players who have stepped up to the Dorchester Town first-team squad this season – and he sees no reason why they can’t continue to impress during the second half of the campaign.
Several youngsters from Kite-ley’s reserves, such as Josh Tennant, Jack Twyford and Alex Godfrey, have enjoyed experience at Skrill South level, making the most of the opportunities that have come their way.
The likes of Tony Rolls, Jason Kennard and Craig Michie have also been given a taste of what it’s like to be a member of Phil Simkin’s set-up.
Kiteley’s side has been out of action in the Wyvern Premier League since the end of November and they saw their latest fixture, due to be at home against Moneyfields tonight, postponed yesterday because of a waterlogged pitch at the Avenue.
But while it is frustrating that his team’s season has been put on hold due to the bad weather, Kiteley is pleased to see some of his protégés savouring the chance of playing Conference South football.
“I’m very pleased with the way the lads have stepped up from the reserves to the first-team,” he said. “They have done exceptionally well and I couldn’t be much happier with them.
“Jack Twyford has been outstanding and his attitude has been spot on, like it was when I first saw him three years ago.
“Josh Tennant came back to us a bit rusty but has worked exceptionally hard in training and the couple of games he has played for me.
“I was so pleased for him when he had three first-team starts on the trot, and he hasn’t let anybody down. His work rate and commitment is second to none and, if he is patient, the goals will come.”
He continued: “I’m pleased Alex Godfrey has had a chance. He is another lad who has worked very hard this season and looks a different class in training.
“Dan Munday has only played one game for the reserves but scored a hat-trick and looks a natural finisher – he is definitely one for the future.
“They have all taken their chance with both hands and credit should go to the club for sticking by the reserves.
“The players also deserve credit for working hard and showing dedication and desire to push for the first team.”
Kiteley also highlighted the contributions of Dan Way and Calvin Brooks, and believes others can make a good impression between now and the end of the season.
“Tony Rolls had an exceptional pre-season and had a decent game in the friendly against Yeovil,” added Kiteley. “He started at right-back against Poole Town and unfortunately was responsible for two goals.
“But people forget these lads are only 18 and when something like that happens it can knock them back a little bit.
“It’s been unfortunate that we haven’t had many reserve games since because it would have been good for him to get a run of matches, as he did at the start of the season.
“I have every faith in Tony and, as long as he keeps doing the basics right, then he is definitely a first-team player in the making.
“The same goes for Craig Michie. He had all of last season out and realises he’s not quite ready.
“There are others like Jack Vallier and Jason Kennard who are capable of making that step up, they just need to make that extra little bit of effort away from the club.”
The next match for the reserves is scheduled for January 15 away to Sholing (7.45pm), who currently sit second in the league table behind the Magpies.