Team-mates back Keenleyside to step in for departed Shields

David Keenleyside is unable to find a route to goal

David Keenleyside is unable to find a route to goal - Credit: Archant

David Keenleyside’s team-mates are backing him to step up as Sean Shields’ replacement now the Dagenham and Redbridge star’s three-month loan at Clarence Park has ended.

Keenleyside has scored twice this season, both coming in a 5-3 win over Cheshunt in the Herts Senior Cup, but chances have been limited for the 23-year-old. He has made just six starts and missed a game after a farcical red card at Ebbsfleet.

Despite that, there is overwhelming belief in the camp that Keenleyside can not just take over, but perform better.

Captain Ben Martin said: “Ability-wise I think Dave might have the edge. Sean has had a taste of professional football whereas Dave hasn’t so he might be a little naive but I don’t think there’s much between them.”

It’s not just Martin who is singing Keenleyside’s praises. James Comley spoke highly of Shields, especially after he scored the winning goal in his last game against Havant and Waterlooville, but was equally praiseworthy of Keenleyside. And Steve Wales said the same.

It all adds up to player who many believe could be a vital part of St Albans’ team this season.

Joint manager James Gray expressed the same belief in Keenleyside two weeks ago before the arrival of Luton Town loanee Charlie Smith, who has so far held the former London Colney man out of the team.

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For the time being, Keenleyside will have to wait in the wings for his chance but if his team-mates are to be believed, he’ll grasp it with both hands and wow us all in the process.