Harley Hunt said the development of Harrison Minturn has shown him that there is a pathway to the first team at Swindon Town.

The 16-year-old made his senior debut as an early second-half substitute during Town’s late away defeat against Walsall on Tuesday night.

Minturn is in his second season as a professional having graduated from the Swindon academy and had established himself as a regular, making 20 league appearances this season, prior to picking up a season-ending hip injury in March.

But Hunt said that in the 20-year-old there was somebody to look up to in the senior set-up to give inspiration to himself and the other academy players.

He said: “It definitely helps me because I know that there is somebody who is doing it as well.

“So, I know that I can keep on pushing and I can learn from those people because they are making their debuts at a young age as well.

“I can just learn from them and that helps me a lot.”

Hunt also revealed that he had been spending plenty of time training with the first team of late, having also made the matchday squad against Sutton United, offering the chance to learn from the more experienced defenders in the squad like Conor McCarthy and Frazer Blake-Tracy.

The young defender said that experience had been particularly beneficial to his development as he looks to progress into the senior game.

He said: “Definitely, they [the other defenders] are always helping me off the pitch and on the pitch, in training, and in matches and that just helps me become a better player and learn a lot more.

“I have been around the first team quite a lot recently, which I think is better for me to be around the first team, I am learning more.

“It is a big difference playing first-team football because there is so much more to be switched on to, there is so much more to do, and loads of information to give.

“It is much better for me and my career because I have been there and done under-18s football, so now to come into first-team football I am learning a lot and that is going to help me a lot.

“One of my biggest things [at the start of the season] was to try and kick on with the first team and make my debut, so now that has happened I just have to keep going.”