Joel McGregor said that being involved with the Swindon Town first-team feels within his grasp with the experience that has been handed to academy players this season.

A small squad and a number of injuries have meant that Michael Flynn has had to turn to academy players a lot this season, with Miles Obodo, Anton Dworzak, and Fletcher Hubbard all having played league minutes, and Sonny Hart, Abu Kanu, Jaxon Brown, and George Alston having been on the bench.

Speaking after playing for the first time with the senior side against Exeter City, McGregor said that it was an exciting time to be in the under-18s at Swindon.

He said: “I feel like it gives you a lot of determination and confidence that you can get there and like it is in your grasp.

“Seeing all of your teammates going up there and being given the opportunity, if you keep working hard and keep persevering you feel like you can get there.

“Today was a massive achievement for me and I am just looking to push on now and hopefully get a chance in the league.

“With the injuries being there, if I were to get the opportunity, I would be very grateful to be there.”

Wiltshire Times: Hart has played every minute in the BSM Trophy this seasonHart has played every minute in the BSM Trophy this season (Image: Callum Knowles)

Sonny Hart, who was first involved with the first team when Scott Lindsey included him on the bench against Walsall in the Carabao Cup, has played every minute of the BSM Trophy campaign, as well as having been on the bench for three of the last four league games.

The 17-year-old said that there feels like there is a very strong relationship between the first-team and the under-18s at the moment, which is helping the younger players to adapt.

He said: “I feel like when you have players around you that are a similar age then it makes you a little bit more confident.

“It is like one big group, the under-18s are kind of with the first team when it comes to the BSM Trophy games, and it has been good to be around the first team with the other under-18s.

“It is a pleasure every time I step out on that pitch or I am a part of a squad, it is like a dream come true for anybody.

“I am very thankful, and I am learning so much from them [the first-team players], it is a great experience every time I train with them.”