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Tony McMahon reflects on a youthful side facing Bradford (Park Avenue)

26 July 2022

Assistant manager Tony McMahon gave his reaction to Iron Player, following the 1-0 Bradford Park Avenue victory, which saw 18-year-old Jack Moore-Billam net the winner.

Discussing the young Iron team that was selected for the game, he said: “It was a really young team, and a good test for them.

“These boys have got to step up. There’s an opportunity to go play and they’ve got to show the manager and the coaching staff that they’re ready.

“In games like this they’ve got to stand out and do the right things, yeah we got the win, but there were still sloppy bits in the game where these lads can do better.

“It’s time to step up because there will be opportunities,” he finished.

Talking deeper in regards to the level of the opposition and the young lads’ ability in comparison, he said: “It should be in their mind that they want to come and play in our team and come into training everyday to learn then take what they learn into games.

“We saw little bits of that tonight. They’ve still got to be better, but it was a win and a good test against a decent team, with 90 minutes under the belts for a lot of them which they needed.

The Horsfall Stadium provided an opportunity to play on a 3G surface, something that will crop up in the National League next season. Commenting on the surface, McMahon said: “It’s totally different.

“You saw a couple of lads hit straight balls and it just bounces straight out of play so you can’t do it.

“They’ve got to learn, and there’s going to be teams in our division who play on these types of surfaces, so we’ve got to get used to it,” he concluded.

Discussing Jack Moore-Billam’s winner, a strike midway in the second half, he said: “It was a great finish.

“We’re trying to encourage that press from the front, and when teams are playing straight passes we’ve got to intercept them.

“He’s done that, got the shot off, and it was a great finish.”

The Iron also earned their second clean sheet of pre-season. Talking about that aspect, he said: “As a former defender, first and foremost, keep clean sheets.”

“Marcus (Dewhurst) was excellent again, Youngy (Ethan Young) came back for his first 90 minutes of pre-season as well.

“He looked a little bit rusty but he’ll be better off after that 90 minutes. There were a lot of pleasing things as well but it’s just driving that standard. 

With several academy players on show this evening, McMahon had high praises for Academy Manager Tony Daws and the work he does at the football club.

“I’m the first one to praise Dawsy (Tony Daws) for the work he’s done in the academy, last season too with the players he’s pushed up.

“Under Keith Hill, he’s renown for giving young players their debuts. If I was a young player looking at Scunthorpe, especially the young lads in the building, they’ve got an opportunity to really kick on.

“The pathway is clear and since the manager has walked through the door he’s said there’s a pathway and they (the young players) can see it. Just look at Harvey Cribb last year, playing at 16-year-old and still at school.

“If they’re good enough they will play,” he finished.

Hear more from Tony McMahon and Jack Moore-Billam on Iron Player.

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