BRIAN Flynn is not sure whether striker Jordan Ball is ready for first-team football – because he has yet to see him in enough games.
Flynn says Ball, aged 19, is unlikely to get a chance in the first-team squad until next season as there will be few opportunities to see him in action.
Supporters have clamoured for the inclusion of the youth-team product, particular with Rovers short of attacking options in recent weeks.
Ball scored with his first touch in senior football after coming off the bench in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash with Chesterfield.
But that was one of just two appearances this season. And Flynn says he is unlikely to give Ball the chance to add to those appearances this term.
“I can’t give a true assessment of Jordan because I’ve not seen him play,” Flynn said. “We don’t have a reserve team and since I’ve been here we’ve had two training-ground games for the fringe players, which isn’t enough.
“You really need to see a player in that environment to assess them properly. I like Jordan in training. I like his attitude. He’s got ability and his power and strength are a great asset.
“When I get the chance to assess him he might get his chance. That could be this season but it’s more likely to be next season.”
Ball’s last appearance for Rovers came in the reverse fixture with today’s opponents Hartlepool.
He came off the bench in place of Billy Paynter who could be set for a return to the starting line-up today. Paynter dropped to the bench for the trip to Shrewsbury on Tuesday after suffering an injury against Yeovil a week ago.
Flynn said: “Billy profited from having the extra day.
“It was beneficial to him that he didn’t play on Tuesday.”