THE introduction of club physio Tom Walsh in the second half of Bury’s 4-1 victory at Radcliffe Borough last Wednesday night served as a very public warning to youth-team striker Anthony Dudley.
Manager David Flitcroft hauled off the 17-year-old for what he deemed to be a lack of enthusiasm, and rather than replacing him with a regular substitute decided to make a point instead.
“Tom Walsh displayed the highest level of enthusiasm I have ever seen at a football club,” he said.
“I was trying to show Anthony Dudley that enthusiasm alone should be a given. It should be a given to go on a pitch and run, whoever you are playing against, whatever the pitch is, run.
“I didn’t do it out of disrespect. I put on Tom to show enthusiasm on the football pitch and how far it can take you because if you are not prepared to run you won’t play, it’s as simple as that.
“It’s a real lesson for Anthony Dudley now to find his way and start to really run for his team-mates and run for himself.”
Dudley was not the only one singled out for criticism, with fellow youth-teamers Marcus Poscha and Scott Burgess warned they would not take any further part in the first-team set-up until they have shown improvement under academy coach Ryan Kidd.
“The game gave me an idea about where people like Anthony Dudley and Scott Burgess are at.
“They have got to maybe go back into the school of learning with Kiddo and start learning the game a little bit.”
But the Bury boss was full of praise for the handful of first-teamers picked for the game, with both Ashley Grimes and James Burke scoring in the 4-1 victory and Nathan Cameron marshalling the back four following the early departure of centre-back partner Keil O’Brien through injury Flitcroft also highlighted the role played by triallist left-back Joe Widdowson.
“Joe Widdowson is finding his feet. He was only going to play 45 minutes but Joe wanted to stay out and play,” he said.