Stockdale: Loans are key

by Kate Smith

Academy coach says time away is valuable learning opportunity.

Academy coach Robbie Stockdale believes loan moves are key to helping sharpen young players’ winning instincts.

The likes of Billy Knott, Jordan Laidler and Jordan Pickford have all made temporary moves of late, with Knott and Pickford both featuring regularly at Football League level.

Knott has been a mainstay for League Two side Wycombe, while Pickford has secured the number one spot with Burton at the same level.

And with league points and win bonuses at stake every week, Stockdale says loan spells can provide useful experience in an environment where the pressure is definitely on.

“Billy’s away on loan, Jordan [Laidler] unfortunately came back injured from Chester and we’ve also got Jordan [Pickford] away at Burton,” he said.

“In Academy football, yes it’s nice for the players to win but at the end of the day it’s not the be all and end all.

“When they go to other clubs and play first team football that is not the case.

“I went to watch Jordan at Alfreton last season; I know the captain of Alfreton having played with him at Grimsby.

“I spoke to him before the game and told him to make sure he told Jordan if he wasn’t doing his job.

“They were 4-0 up and Jordan made a bit of a sloppy clearance – my mate, who’s six-foot-six, turned round and gave him a rocket, the full treatment.

“That’s what it means to these lads.”