Under-18s coach Andy Sharp was pleased how his young Owls battled through extra time at Leeds on Thursday in the FA Youth Cup, only to miss out on penalties 5-4.
A close-fought derby tie ended 2-2 after extra time and despite suffering spot-kick heartbreak, Sharp spoke of the priceless experience for the lads.
He said: “We thought at half time the boys had managed the first half very well in a tough environment in which they’re not used to, playing at a non-league ground, but I am always keen on them having new experiences.
“Penalties is always a horrible way to lose a football match but it was fantastic to see how well they performed in extra time.
“It’s always worrying when young players face adversity in football matches as you don’t know how the ndividuals will react but they all responded very well before losing on penalties, which can happen to anyone.
“Penalties are always a lottery, we spoke about them but it’s difficult to prepare, especially the environment, but there’s nothing I can say that’ll make that any easier and it’ll take time for them for the boys to digest and reflect on it.
“Us staff have gone through that before and know this will stand them in good stead but the bigger picture is looking at the way the individuals responded to the challenges they faced and I could not ask for any more in terms of their effort or desire to match a good Leeds side.”