IN-FORM Swindon Town U18s can further boost their Merit League I qualification hopes this weekend when hosting dangerous Exeter City at Stanley Park (11am).

David Farrell’s youngsters have without doubt ended their Youth Alliance blip that saw them pick up only six points from seven league fixtures in an eight-week period between September and November.

Last weekend’s triumph over Portsmouth coupled with a convincing mid-week success at Foundation Park over Forest Green Rovers has promoted Town’s youngsters to fourth in the 11-team division.

The top six teams at the end of 20 gameweeks – teams have played between 12 and 16 games to date - advance to Merit League I while the others are placed into the second division.

And Farrell is hopeful his players’ confidence boost in recent days can act as a catalyst to inspire further success when Grecians visit tomorrow.

He said: “Exeter are a good side, in many respects they’re similar to Forest Green.

“They have some strong individual players and are technically very good. It will be a big challenge for us, especially after they beat us earlier in the season at their place – we didn’t turn up to that game.

“We’ve got to take this confidence from the last two games forward. There’s a real fight for team places with the formation we are using.

“There are a lot of similar teams in this league, but we’ve got to focus on us.

“We don’t focus that much on the opposition teams, we control what we can.”

It’s also encouraging to see youth team members Harry Parsons, Sam Smith, Massimo Giamattei, Anthony Cheshire and Toby Holland recognised by first-team manager Richie Wellens.

The quintet featured on the senior team sheet earlier this month in Town’s final Trophy group stage game away to Bristol Rovers.

Though Parsons stole the limelight by starting in company with academy graduate Scott Twine, Farrell stated Parsons’ talent isn’t the only element of the academy to be excited about.

“It’s great for the youngsters to be in and around the first team,” said Farrell.

“Harry Parsons has played a lot of minutes for us – he’s been fantastic in the last month and deserved his chance in the first team. Hopefully he can keep moving forward and more chances might come because of it.

“It’s not just Harry, though. Others can step in if asked – it’s all positive at the moment.”