Latest crop of youngsters already starting to shine at Colney Heath

PUBLISHED: 09:20 19 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:20 19 September 2020

Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson is delighted with the youngsters coming through this year. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson is delighted with the youngsters coming through this year. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Archant

Last season and this summer may have been severely disrupted by the pandemic but one thing has remained constant – Colney Heath continue to have a stream of talented youngsters.

Harry Shepherd has returned to Colney Heath after a season away. Picture: KARYN HADDONHarry Shepherd has returned to Colney Heath after a season away. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Cillian Webb, Sean Walsh and Hadley Gleeson are the latest, all making their debuts for the Magpies in the opening games of the season.

Webb came on during the FA Cup loss at New Salamis while Walsh was a second-half substitute in the win at Arlesey Town on Tuesday night.

That game at Hitchin Road was Gleeson’s second off the bench, having appeared in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division opener against Tring Athletic, and he marked it with Colney’s second goal.

They are in the squad alongside other youngsters like Kyle Rahho and the relative veteran in comparison, Harry Shepherd, while they follow in the footsteps of Isa Rotimi, now at Royston Town, and Joe Newton, who signed professional terms with Coventry City last season.

Former Colney Heath junior Joe Newton is now playing for Coventry City. Picture: KARYN HADDONFormer Colney Heath junior Joe Newton is now playing for Coventry City. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Manager Ryan Thompson is delighted to see the youngsters make their presence known but says the praise is not due to him and points at others and the club itself for their development.

“That’s not me,” he said, “that’s the club. The club have recruited well and Nick Sanders knows the good crop of youngsters who are around St Albans.

“The club are lucky that we and we will always give them an opportunity if they are there.

“This year we have to bring a few more through again but Colney Heath is always going to be a place where youngsters get chances.”

The seemingly constant emergence of more fresh young faces has caused Thompson one or two headaches, although ones that he does not mind having one bit.

He said: “I thought I was set in pre-season but then a few of them gave me question marks as I didn’t think they could do [some of the things they did].

“We played some against St Margaretsbury and I was so impressed.

“Little Sean Walsh is a pocket dynamo, he really is, and then there’s Jack McShane.

“There’s a lot of them who could come in.”

Webb, Walsh and McShane are all expected to feature in this afternoon’s FA Vase match with Wivenhoe Town at the Recreation Ground.

Kick-off is at 3pm.


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