MARK Cooper hopes Connor Waldon’s loan stint at Tamworth will prepare the young striker to make the step into the Swindon Town matchday squad.

Waldon had already impressed during spells with Frome Town and Gloucester City prior to making the switch to Skrill Premier outfit Tamworth on Tuesday at short notice on a one-month loan deal.

Cooper, who enjoyed a successful period as manager at The Lamb earlier in his career, feels Tamworth is the right place for the forward to develop under manager Dale Belford - the father of Swindon’s second-string goalkeeper Tyrell.

“He’s gone and done really well at Calor Gas Premier level and really well in the Conference North and we want to see how he goes in his next progression, which is the Conference National,” said at a recent press conference.

“If he goes to Tamworth and does well then we may have a player on our hands.

“We could have kept him here and he’d have been on the bench, not been on the bench, but we felt it was better that he got out and played games at senior level and realises what is all about.

“To get kicked up in the air a few teams by old-fashioned non-league centre-halves will do him a world of good.

“He’s a tough boy anyway but that will have prepared him even more for when he comes back to us. We’ve always thought he’s had a chance of being a player because he’s probably one of the only ones we’ve got who can get hold of the ball as a number nine. He takes it in and looks after it, he’s not frightened of taking a hit from defenders and he can score a goal. It’s done him good to go to Gloucester and it’s opened his eyes to men’s football and going to Tamworth will really test him. They need to win games to make sure they don’t get relegated.”