The young players at Barrow AFC can play a big part in turning around the team’s fortunes in the weeks ahead, according to manager Ian Evatt.

The Bluebirds have named starting line-ups with an average age of under 23 on several occasions this season, with 19-year-old striker Tyler Smith topping their scoring charts with eight goals.

His fellow teenager, left-back Rhys Norrington-Davies, was arguably AFC’s star performer in their 1-0 defeat at Ebbsfleet United, for which midfielder Christian Sloan was an unused substitute.

Sloan, who has impressed as captain of the under-21s this season, travelled down to Kent just over 24 hours after signing first-team forms with the club, with Evatt keen to promote players from within if the youngsters are good enough.

Evatt, whose team are on a run of five straight defeats, said: “I’ve said from minute one that if young players in Barrow area are producing the goods – and he’s been outstanding with the under-21s – then they’ll be given a chance in this squad.

“We just need to stick together now, work really hard and turn this around because we’ve got some fantastic young players at this football club and they’ve shown how good they can be.

“Unfortunately, they didn’t get the result, but if they carry on playing the way they did then I’m sure we’ll be fine and we’ll start picking up results sooner rather than later.”