SWINDON Town’s youth development programme was given an extra boost yesterday as two of its products received international call-ups.

Aaron Oakley was summoned for Welsh Under 21 duty while Conor Thompson received notification that he has been included in the Northern Ireland Under 17 squad.

And for head of youth development Paul Bodin, the two pieces of news are due reward for the time and energy invested in bringing on the next generation of local footballers.

“It’s a great chance for them and playing at that level gives them a chance to play with new players and learn new techniques,” he said.

“They can come back with different ideas and it will help with their development.

“They both deserve it and it is great news.”

Oakley, a dominating centre-back who has already drawn praise from Bodin for his impressive performances as a first-year scholar at Town, has already played for Wales Under 16s.

And despite starting pre-season later than the rest of his teammates and international colleagues, the youngster has already been noticed by Welsh youth development coach Brian Flynn.

Meanwhile Thompson, who started the youth team’s first match of the season against Bournemouth on Saturday in the absence of regular starter Leigh Bedwell, gets his first call from his country.

Bodin believes both players have a big future in the game.

“We’ve spoken before about Aaron and we all know what he’s got,” he said.

“He was playing against Wilko Risser in training this week and Wilko’s a big lump, but Aaron was holding his own. He will go far and Conor has come into the team and did very well on Saturday.”