Golds impressed by the next crop of youth players looking to break through
- Credit: Archant
The crowd at Hertingfordbury stadium for St Albans City’s 4-0 Herts Senior Cup win on Tuesday night got a good glimpse of the latest youth products who look set to break into the first team.
Ever since joint manager James Gray and Graham Golds took the reins at Clarence Park they have been keen to see young, local talent come through the ranks and stake a claim in the senior squad.
Last season, Matt Taylor, James Kaloczi and Elliot Bailey – all 18-years-old and ex-students of St Albans’ schools – were given chances to prove their mettle, which resulted in all three signing contracts with the club. Taylor and Bailey are currently out on loan at Potters Bar and Bedford Town respectively, while Kaloczi remains at City.
This term Joel Watson and Ryan Carroll are following the trail blazed by Taylor, Kaloczi and Bailey.
Golds told the Herts Ad that the younger players have impressed the management when given their chances.
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“Every time Joel has come on he gets on with it and does a good job; he has a bright future with the club. Ryan Carroll has had limited opportunities but he has never let us down,” he said.
“The future of the club is pushing through.”
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Players like Myles Scott and Mason Tewkesbury have also been included in match-day squads but fans will have seen Watson, in particular, a lot this season. The midfielder has accompanied the first team to games as the club attempts to give him experiences of senior football.
“There is a big difference between senior and youth football so it is good for him to be around the changing room, making the away trips and experiencing first team football,” explained Golds.
It’s not just the Allied Counties Youth side that has impressed Golds, the U16’s, coached by Harry Wheeler, are also on an impressive run and currently hold the top spot in the Eastern Junior Alliance League.
“It all bodes well for the club,” added Golds.
“All of them are local lads, too, which is good for us because the fans associate with them. That’s what we want try to get through into the first team.
“In previous years that has rarely happened but we’re making an effort to produce good local players who want to put on a St Albans City shirt and play for the club.”