Boss hails Twomey progress
ACADEMY manager and current St Albans City first team boss Steve Castle has tipped prospect Hamza Twomey to make a big impact in the game. The Oaklands Academy player made his first league start for Saints at Clarence Park against Sutton United and came o
ACADEMY manager and current St Albans City first team boss Steve Castle has tipped prospect Hamza Twomey to make a big impact in the game.
The Oaklands Academy player made his first league start for Saints at Clarence Park against Sutton United and came off the bench to liven up the clash with Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday. Castle is delighted with the impact the attacking wide player has made on the club. He said: "Hamza has got a refreshing attitude. Nothing fazes him. He will be getting big segments of play from now until the end of the season. He is a cracking kid and can be anything that he really wants to be.
"In my other job, scouting for England Under 19s, I see the very, very top young players and Hamza is working towards that. I don't think he is miles away from being right up there with them. He will have a few ups and downs and he has to keep with it. I am pleased with his overall contribution."
Twomey has been joined by fellow Oaklands prospects Austin Byfield, Kwame Asamoah, James Archer, Alex Olcot and Chris Haslam in the City first team squad for recent games and Castle said: "I hope it is making them realise that it is achievable but it is not fair to be putting too many of the young lads in the side at the moment because it is a bit of a pressure-cooker situation."
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On Wednesday, January 9 both St Albans City sides, the Saints and the City side each won their Football Conference Youth League fixtures.
Coach Scott Cousins masterminded the younger Saints to a fine 3-1 win against Histon at Clarence Park in the Central Conference while in the Midland Division, the City side under the charge of Castle, won 2-1 against Hitchin Town at Norton Road, Baldock. Goals from Mark Betts and Kwame Asamoah secured the win for City and Castle said: "The lads are learning how to play football and how to win games. The City team in particular are doing especially well and I am over the moon for Saints lads. They are gradually getting used to Under 19s football.
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"The Saints team are 16/17 year old lads and it is hard for them but the City team had that last year and came on strong in the second half of the season, hopefully the Saints will do the same this year."
Powerful player Kwame Asamoah was called up to the bench for the first-team clash with Sutton United in the Blue Square South and Castle said: "Kwame Asamoah, considering it is his first year, has done fantastic for me. He is a very strong player who can play anywhere centrally, either centre back or midfield really. The lads are all doing very well and very quietly getting on with their course."
The Oaklands Academy are currently recruiting. Contact Academy Director Karen Gibson on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about signing up for the course.
l POTTERS Bar Town are to drop out of the Middlesex Senior Challenge Cup after their match was Uxbridge was abandoned due to the serious injury suffered by City academy star Tegana James.
Striker James, aged 19, was resuscitated by Town club staff and rushed to Barnet General Hospital after an incident during the match in December. He had earlier scored in the fixture which Potters Bar were leading 2-0. The Middlesex County Football Association have said the tie should be played again but Potters Bar Town chairman Peter Waller said: "We are withdrawing from the Middlesex Cup. We are not prepared to play the game again, we do not see the point in it.
"It will still have a lot of feeling following the injury suffered to Tegana. The lad can't play football or any physical activity for now and his football career is in doubt. Tegana is much improved. His latest brain scan seemed ok but his heart was said to be only the strength of a 75-year-old man's. These kind of things are more important than football, so it's something we have had to do and we are proud to make a stand over it.