Exeter City boss Matt Taylor says the Checkatrade Trophy has been the perfect competition for developing the club’s young players.
The Grecians are through to Round Two of the competition after finishing top of the Group D in the Southern section, and Taylor says the latter rounds of the Checkatrade Trophy gives the younger players in his squad the perfect opportunity to express themselves.
“We are a club that are renowned for developing its young players, so we have used the Checkatrade Trophy for exactly that and they have all gained first-team experience from it,” he said.
“Our Checkatrade Trophy games have all been competitive this season which has seen us progress to the next round of the competition, so it is an opportunity for our younger players to express themselves in the latter rounds.
“Dara O’Shea is now playing in our league team as well, so it just shows you how the Checkatrade Trophy has developed him as a player and now has earned his jersey for the Saturday.”
A showpiece final at Wembley awaits two sides in March, but Taylor has his sights firmly set on the next game against Sky Bet League One side Peterborough United in Round Two of the competition.
He added: “To get to Wembley is always an achievement and is always an experience for any player, because a lot of players could go their whole career without playing at Wembley.
“We are not looking too far ahead, we want to take it one game at a time and we have to focus on the Peterborough game on Tuesday because they are a seriously good team.
“The performances in the competition have been good, in every competition we want to get as far as we possibly can, we have always respected this competition by picking the strongest possible team and we will continue to treat it in the same manner.”