SCOTT Twine is already starting to show the benefits of his loan spell away from Swindon Town, according to assistant manager Noel Hunt.

Twine is highly rated at Town and manager Richie Wellens tied the 19-year-old forward down to a new two-and-a-half-year contract in February.

However, game time is of paramount importance in Twine’s development and he was promptly sent on loan to League of Ireland club Waterford – owned by Swindon chairman Lee Power – after signing his new deal.

Wellens and Hunt, who was assistant manager at Waterford before being unveiled as part of the new Town coaching staff last November, have been keeping a close eye on Twine while he has been away.

And the former Republic of Ireland international says there have been clear gains made by the youngster – both mental and physical.

“I have watched two or three of Waterford’s games and I stay in contact with their manager (Alan Reynolds). Scott has been doing well and it has been a really good learning experience for him,” said Hunt.

“He came back to Swindon for a weekend and you could see he had filled out a little bit. He is getting used to that everyday contact against physical men.

“He might not have played as much as he wanted, but when he has played, it’s important he did the right things – and he has done.

“He has integrated with the group really well and it was a big step for him as he hasn’t been away from home before.

“There are all these little things that he will pick up that will help him develop from a young adult into a man. It’s important he went away and did that.”

Hunt was due to watch Twine in person during Waterford’s clash at home to Shamrock Rovers last night – only for that match to be postponed due to international call-ups.

Waterford’s next two fixtures have also fallen victim to the same fate, meaning they don’t play again until June 28 – four days after Town start pre-season.

Twine will therefore end his spell in Ireland early and head back to England for a short rest period before linking up with Swindon for the first day of their summer training schedule on June 24.

Hunt said: “Waterford haven’t got a game now for three or four weeks, so Scott will come back to Swindon and will still get plenty of rest before the start of pre-season.

“We know he is a young lad and even young lads need their rest, whether it only be a week or two.

“He is fit boy, but he knows it is important for him to come back in the right condition – and he will.”