Goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik will not play in Mansfield Town’s opening Central League reserve game at Walsall this afternoon (2pm).
CJ Hamilton, Dapo Afolayan and Wilem Tomlinson will all take part, but it has been decided not to push Austrian keeper Olejnik too hard too soon after being out since late last year with a serious knee injury.
Olejnik came through his first 90 minutes in last week’s Leasing.com Trophy game with Crewe but was not on the bench against Oldham last weekend.
“Bobby will train all week,” said manager John Dempster.
“We thought it best to get a week’s training under his belt rather than play for the reserves.
“He got 90 minutes against Crewe, but we have to remember Bobby has been out for 11 months and we don’t want to do anything stupid.
“It will be good to see train all week and perform like he has done over the last two weeks. He has been outstanding in training.
“We probably want to get a little more game time into him at some point as well. It’s great to have him back.”
On today’s line-up, he added: “CJ, Dapo and Willem will support an U21 reserve side.
“In that side there will also be the U21 players who have made their League debuts this season like Alistair Smith, James Clarke and Jimmy Knowles.
“So, although it will be a young side, CJ and Willem are not exactly OAPs, it will still be a very strong side we expect to go there and perform well.
“They are players who need game time and minutes in the bank, so it will be massively beneficial for them to play today.”