PREMIER League clubs will be encouraged to send their young starlets to Swindon Town because “they’re going to eat with a knife and fork and not scrape their food off the floor”.
That’s the opinion of Town manager Mark Cooper, whose analogy relates to his side’s style of play rather than any activity in the County Ground canteen.
Cooper and Swindon owner Lee Power are actively pursuing four top-flight youngsters, including the Southampton pair of Jack Stephens and Jordan Turnbull, Liverpool’s Brad Smith and an as-yet unnamed striker.
And the Robins boss feels that the best teams in the land will be more likely to lend Town their up-and-coming talent because Swindon can offer a hearty footballing education.
He said: “You’re always looking at every club – you’re looking at every Premiership team and see whether you can tap into their resources. I think where we have an advantage is the way we play.
“Premier League managers know that if their players come here they’re going to eat with a knife and fork and not scrape their food off the floor in terms of football. That gives us a chance of getting young players in.”
Aston Villa arrive in Wiltshire this afternoon for Town’s final test ahead of the start of the new campaign and Cooper has been satisfied by the pre-season so far.
“I think Villa were looking for a game and luckily enough we managed to get in first and take the fixture,” he said.
“I thought the Leeds game was a realistic test. They were very workmanlike and worked very hard, they had the respect to close us down for 90 minutes. With Dave, they knew how we were going to play and they tried to press us all over the pitch, which was great. It was what we wanted.
“Once we’re in tight situations we’ve got to work out how to get out of them and that was a realistic test the other night. The result was not quite right but it could quite easily have gone the other way.
“We’ve still got nine days and we’ve got to try to get their sharpness us and making them really ready for August 9. I can’t wait. When the start of the football season comes around it’s fantastic. It seems like we’ve been waiting a long time since the Rotherham game and we’re really looking forward it.”