U23s boss Reece Parara is pleased with the continued progress being made by his side in their inaugural season as he reflected on last weekend’s dramatic 3-2 victory at Aldershot Town.
The young Wings were 2-1 up against the league-leaders until the hosts scored a leveller via their goalkeeper who was up for a corner in the 10th minute of injury time.
But Welling showed great spirit to keep going and went straight down the other end to score a winner thanks to Jack Church, inflicting a first defeat of the season on their opponents.
And Parara was delighted with what he saw from his young side.
“It showed the character in the group,” he explained.
“Even though the team has been thrown together this year, the camaraderie and fight within the group is fantastic – they’re never beaten until the final whistle.
“As soon as the goal went in, David Kamara picked the ball up, ran and put it back on the centre spot and that set the tone for us to go for it.
“Everyone was over there celebrating the winner, they were all together and they deserved to enjoy it.”
The victory was another sign of the progress for the Wings’ academy side who could now find themselves two points off the top of the table should they win their games in hand.
And with players continuing to push for senior involvement, the future appears to be bright, with a number of youngsters playing their part in last week’s Kent Senior Cup victory over Sittingbourne at Park View Road.
“This is part of why we work so hard to make sure that the U23s are of a really high standard,” he said.
“Because we want the first team to be able to trust that the boys they’re bringing in are going to be good enough.
“They’ve shown that they can handle, not only U23s football, but playing against men as well and they excelled themselves against Sittingbourne..
Meanwhile, Academy Director Barry Jeffreys is also thrilled to see the strides being made by the U23 set-up.
“We are really pleased with the progress the U23’s are making in their first season in the Surburban Premier League,” he said.
“We’ve made a really positive start to the season under the management of Reece and Mark, which was cemented Saturday with an excellent performance and win against Aldershot.
“To concede an equaliser that late and then claim a winner a minute later with the last kick of the game, is a testament to the spirit and togetherness within the group.
“Even more pleasing, we finished the game with a team that included six 16 year old players, which will only enhance their development in the coming years.
“To be competing with National League squads that have been established over years, in our first season, is a credit to the staff and players.
“We look forward to our next game against Maidstone United this weekend”.