Mansfield Town town boss Steve Evans says Jack Thomas could have a big part to play with the club next season.
He made the comments after allowing the 20 year-old midfielder to join Barrow on loan until the end of the season in a bid to get regular football.
The 20-year-old has made only 11 first team appearances for the Stags this season, nine of which from the substitutes’ bench.
“There’s been several request from clubs in the National League to take a number of our players, one of whom is young Jack Thomas,” said Evans.
“I feel for Jack. He’s a young man who’s already got a contract here for next season and we look forward to then working with a young man who has some game time under his belt.
“He feels let down prior to our arrival when certain things happened that didn’t really make him feel that he should be competing and getting every chance of being in the first team here at the One Call Stadium.
“He gets an opportunity to work with Paul Cox at Barrow, fully aware of the success he brought this club in the conference. He’s aware that Paul Cox can put good teams on the pitch, at that league in particular.
“I’ve sat at length with Jack over a few days with the different opportunities and it’s nice when a young man takes your advice as an experienced manager to get on the pitch and get some solid performances in a very competitive league and come back here at the end of the season fully prepared for a huge pre-season.
“This boy could play a big part next season and I don’t say that about many players who are allowed to go out on loan at this stage.
“I can assure our supporters that we will monitor Jack’s progress and watch him three to four times a month. Those reports will dictate the conversations I have with him which will be twice a week.”
Thomas said he was delighted with the switch with Barrow and the chance to show what he can do.
“I’m happy to make this loan move. It will allow me to get on the pitch and prove to people what I can do,” he said.
“Hopefully it will toughen me up a bit because it’s a physical league and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“I know the gaffer’s made some good signings here and it would have been hard to get in the team to the end of the season.
“The manager here is honest and that’s what every footballer wants. We have a good relationship and he’ll tell you if you’re doing well or if there’s things you need to get better at.”
Barrow sit in sixth position in the Vanarama National League under the former Stags’ manager.