ALEX Pritchard’s three-game ban will give Swindon Town’s younger element the chance to shine, with manager Mark Cooper pledging to give the likes of Miles Storey and Connor Waldon gametime between now and the end of the season.

Pritchard begins his suspension, incurred following his dismissal at Bristol City, this weekend and the midfielder will miss games against Preston North End, Tranmere Rovers and Sheffield United before the end of the month.

Storey has returned from a beneficial loan spell at Shrewsbury Town and Waldon is back after spending a period at Gloucester City and Cooper revealed to the Advertiser that both are set to feature in his matchday plans for the visit of Preston to the County Ground tomorrow.

“It gives us a chance to look at somebody who is under contract for next year. We look at it the positive way – are they ready to play a part next year,” the Town boss said of Pritchard’s absence.

“There’s obviously Miles that’s back, Connor Waldon is back and they are players we have to look at and ask ‘can they help us next year’.

“The thing is with Miles is that he has had opportunities. He scored against Coventry and he’s gone to Shrewsbury and played a lot of minutes, so we’re hoping he can come back and maybe score a couple of goals for us before the end of the season.

“He will be involved (this weekend). Connor will be involved as well. You go back to who we’re playing against – Bristol City and Preston North End – and we are where we are. I’m just saying, let’s be realistic.

“The young boys, if they are going to be good enough, have to show it now.”

Nathan Byrne, meanwhile, is rated “touch and go” by the club as he recovers from the grade one hamstring tear that ruled him out of the goalless draw at Ashton Gate.