A HALF time cup of soup and a sandwich at Old Trafford is a Monday well spent for Town chief Richie Wellens, who revealed more about his Premier League Two scouting operation.

The Mancunian is no slouch when it comes to keeping on top of the finest young talent in the land.

It’s well documented that he attends two PL2 games each Monday in addition to delving into Friday night games via his laptop or television, should he be at home.

Peterborough is the team to take example from in Wellens’ opinion. The scouting travelling circus is spearheaded by Posh, who last month splashed a whopping £500,000 on Barnet midfielder Jack Taylor.

Because Swindon has no U23s team, Wellens cannot justify committing sums within his budget to develop younger players. He even admitted Cameron McGilp’s progression may have stalled slightly because of his lack of game time at an appropriate level.

Regardless, the 39-year-old has this vision to increase the flow of younger players being developed by the club in future seasons to boost club finances.

He said: “Scouting can be painstaking. A lot of games are at training grounds, and the quality sometimes isn’t great.

“I see the same faces every week, and Peterborough has a fantastic network. They speculate to accumulate, and they have this reputation.

“Ben Chorley (chief scout) is always identifying players. But, for the last window especially, it’s been about here and now for me. I need players that can come and influence the first team.

“We need to get to a level where extra money and sponsorship is coming in before we can afford to take a gamble on non-league players and develop them and hopefully sell them on for a profit.”

Wellens estimates he has watched teams including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Birmingham, West Brom, Leicester and most London teams at least 20 times this season.

Scouting one individual player comes at a price. The Town chief will only be convinced by a player’s ability after watching them a dozen times.

It’s a long process, but one that can have its rewards.

Wellens added: “From the top U23s teams in PL2, I know the majority of players.

“It’s so important to keep on top of them. A player in U23s might be brilliant once, but he might be poor for the next two games.”