City monitor Southend United midfielder and Leyton Orient forward

PUBLISHED: 13:55 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:22 06 May 2010

Gray in action for City. Picture Rob Walkley

Gray in action for City. Picture Rob Walkley

ST Albans City manager Steve Castle will be keeping a close eye on the progress of talented young duo Luke Thurlbourne and Bradley Gray during the summer. Thurlbourne, of League One side Southend United, and Gray, of fellow League One outfit Leyton Orient

Midfield star Thurlbourne

ST Albans City manager Steve Castle will be keeping a close eye on the progress of talented young duo Luke Thurlbourne and Bradley Gray during the summer.

Thurlbourne, of League One side Southend United, and Gray, of fellow League One outfit Leyton Orient, made positive contributions on work experience at Clarence Park last season as City climbed away from relegation danger.

Thurlbourne is hoping to push for a first-team spot at Southend after signing a professional contract towards the end of the campaign and Gray is aiming to press his claims at Orient.

Aggressive midfielder Thurlbourne, aged 18, made 15 league appearances for City last term on work experience earning rave reviews for his all action displays. Attacker Gray, aged 17, played as a forward and on the right flank and scored twice in four league appearances for City including a crucial goal in the stunning 3-2 win against Eastleigh at Clarence Park on Saturday, April 19. Castle said: "I have been assured that if Luke was going to get loaned out and it wasn't a Conference club that we would be the first option. Luke wants to come to us but at the same time he would want to get into the first team at Southend. He did fantastically well for us and enjoyed it. Through his ability and doing well for us he got his contract at Southend. We were as beneficial for Luke as he was for us. We will probably know about two weeks from the start of the season what the situation is.

"It is the same with Bradley Gray. He was a complete revelation even though initially he was on the end of a 4-0 defeat with us (to Aldershot Town). He showed a refreshing attitude. He is going for a first-team place at Leyton Orient but if that wasn't quite right at the start of the season he is another we would be looking at.

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