ROVERS boss Tony Mowbray believes prospects Jack Vale and Lewis Thompson will learn a lot from their respective loan spells.

The pair will have contrasting objectives at their respective new clubs, with Vale hoping to help fire table-topping Barrow to the National League title, while Thompson joins an AFC Fylde side battling for their lives at the other end.

For Vale it will be a first taste of senior football, the versatile forward has become a key part of Billy Barr’s Under-23s side this season, scoring five times and laying on six assists.

That form has seen Rovers already tie him down on a long-term contract through to 2023, with his deal at the Bluebirds set to run until the end of the season.

Vale, who has been with Rovers since the age of 14, shot to prominence in the FA Youth Cup two seasons ago, netting a superb hat-trick in a 5-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.

The 19-year-old was the subject of loan interest from EFL clubs in January but will get his first taste of senior football in the National League.

Thompson, whose deal at Rovers expires this summer, has been one of the stand-out performers for the Under-23s this season.

The left back had a spell in non-league with FC United of Manchester last season but has made a step up in level to join Jim Bentley’s Fylde.

He made his debut in their 0-0 draw with Solihull Moors at the weekend, while Vale wasn’t part of the Barrow squad which lost 2-0 to Notts County.

The Wales youth international will join some familiar faces at Holker Street, with Ian Evatt’s squad already containing two other Rovers loanees in defender Matty Platt and midfielder Tom White, while former Under-23s captain Lewis Hardcastle made a permanent switch last season.

Allowing the pair to leave on loan does leave Rovers short of options at Under-23s level, with Barr’s squad blighted by injuries to the likes of Charley Doyle, Joe Grayson, Brad Lyons and Dan Butterworth, but Mowbray feels the experience will serve the pair well. They’re young players that are going to play men’s football. We have a few players at Barrow and I think Jack will hopefully fit into that environment and that culture,” he said.

“Hopefully it will be a smooth transition for him to hopefully go and get some game time there.”

“It’s always interesting with young players, especially when you talk to their agents and they’re telling you that you’ve got the next Lionel Messi on your hands, and yet in the past they’ve gone to Accrington Stanley or Rochdale and they can’t get a game.

“And then it opens their eyes a little bit and football is a lot tougher than they think.

“It’s a good experience for him.

“Fylde are having a tough season but it’s a good club, I’ve been there and it’s a lovely environment.”

He added: “Barrow are doing exceptionally well this season so it’s a good opportunity for them to go and play some football for a couple of months and hopefully make an impact and play against men and feel what it’s like playing with some pressure rather than for the Under-23s at Leyland.

“It will be a good experience for them.”