MANAGER Les Parry emphasised the importance of ambition to the players within his Tranmere squad this week as Ash Taylor took another step up the international ladder with Wales.
Parry was at Wrexham’s Racecourse ground on Wednesday to see centre-back Taylor earn his first Wales under-21s cap in the 4-0 win against Andorra.
Meanwhile Adam McGurk and Robbie Weir were placed on standby this week for duty with the full Northern Ireland squad.
Parry said: “If international recognition does not lift players, then there is something wrong.
“Adam and Robbie were not called up in the end for the game against Norway but to be kept on standby for a team like Northern Ireland is fantastic.
“I went to watch Ash at Wrexham. He got on for the last half-hour against Andorra and acquitted himself really well. Listening to the comments from the people around me was encouraging. It is really pleasing when people are talking about your players in glowing terms.”
Parry added: “We had a chat with the lads this week and one of the things we talked about was ambition: what players want to do and what they should be aiming for. Every one to a man should be aiming to better themselves.
“When I took this job two and a half years ago, I said I did not want people here who just wanted to play for Tranmere Rovers. I said I wanted players who can see Tranmere Rovers as a stepping stone to playing at a higher level.
“That’s because if they get recognition from a team at a higher level, it means they have done well for us. That philosophy has not changed.
“If we have players who are not doing it for us, then teams in the divisions above are not going to be wanting them.”
Parry acknowledges that advancement at international level comes with a potential downside for the club, with players being made unavailable while they fulfil commitments to their country.
“It is a double-edged sword,” Parry said.
“But the fact that they are being recognised and selected shows those players are doing well for us.”
Taylor, a 21-year-old from Eastham on the Wirral, collected three Wales caps at under-19 level. He is likely to be back on central defensive duty for Tranmere in the League One game at Chesterfield tomorrow, alongside Ian Goodison, 39, who boasts 120 caps for Jamaica.
Mark McChrystal, the third centre-back in Parry’s squad, should also be available for selection at the B2net Stadium. The Irishman is then due to undergo a hernia operation.
The treatment room at Prenton Park, busy for most of the season, is all but clear. David Raven is due to step up his comeback from a double hernia operation with a game for the reserves next week.
Utility man Zoumana Bakayogo, sidelined for several weeks with a cyst, returned to action with a run out in the Liverpool Senior Cup tie against Prescot Cables on Tuesday.
Tranmere Rovers striker Mustafa Tiryaki has joined Blue Square Premier side Cambridge United on a one month loan deal.
Manager Les Parry said: “This is a good chance for Mustafa to play some games. With Enoch Showunmi coming back into the squad and Stoke allowing us to extend Ryan Brunt’s loan, Mustafa’s chances would have been limited here”.