SECOND-year scholars that have been offered professional contracts to remain at Swindon Town next season are likely to feature on Saturday’s team sheet as Notts County visit the County Ground.

Saturday will mark the end of Town’s second failed campaign in League Two, following their relegation from the third tier of English football in 2017.

The game will be anything but a dead-rubber end-of-season tie though. Notts County know they must defeat Richie Wellens’ side to ensure their survival from relegation, while also hoping Macclesfield fail to earn a point in their home game against Cambridge.

After mathematical hopes of poaching a top seven spot were ended at Cheltenham last weekend, Wellens confirmed he will include at least three second-year scholars in Saturday’s squad to aid their translation from youth team football to the senior game.

The news will come as a blow to under 18s manager David Farrell, who on Saturday morning could watch his youngsters lift the Merit League title following an outstanding run since the turn of the new year.

Bitter rivals Oxford United sit between Farrell and title glory though - with Town's youngsters currently level on points with Southend United at the top of the table with a superior goal difference.

Wellens said: “We’re playing for personal and professional pride against Notts County.

“I will definitely include three or four youth players on Saturday that will be kept on. I think it’s right that we give them an opportunity.

“Not necessarily to start, but so they can experience being in and around the squad – and see what the mentality of the lads is from those that we are going to keep.

“The youth team dressing room and the first team dressing room are two different environments. It’s right that we introduce three or four of them.

“But at the same time, I want a result so the club finishes as high as it can – little things like that help.

“It has no bearing on me, I have a clear plan of what I want going into next season.”

It is understood four second-year scholars have been offered full-time contracts for next season.

The final call on players’ futures was decided by Academy manager Alan McLoughlin and Farrell – with Wellens stating that he has every faith that the pair will make the right decision.

Wellens added: “It’s not right for me to have the final say, I have an opinion on the young players.

“But Alan (McLoughlin) works every single day with them, I will leave it up to him and David (Farrell).

“Four contracts have been offered, so four younger players will join us next year. I’ve talked about how I want to trim the squad because we have too many numbers.

“But I want to get more quality in. Three or four young lads might get a bit of action in during pre-season.

“And if one of them surprises me then we might take them further moving forward.”