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U18s Face Watford
Friday, 9th Feb 2018 10:32

Town’s U18s are in action away against Watford on Saturday morning (KO 10.30am).

The Hornets restrict access to their academy games, which are played at the UCL Sports Ground.

Alan Lee’s side will be looking to get back to winning ways after their unlucky final-minute 2-1 Suffolk Premier Cup defeat at Leiston on Tuesday (see below) and the 5-1 league loss to Colchester and 2-0 FA Youth Cup exit to Blackpool the previous week.

One player who won’t be in the squad is right-back Dylan Crowe, who is with the England U17s at the Algarve Tournament where they take on Portugal in their opening match this afternoon. Crowe, 16, has previously won two U17s caps.

Meanwhile, Grays Athletic manager Jamie Stuart believes new Blues scholar Kai Brown can go all the way if he maintains the hunger which saw him break into the Bostik Football League North Division club’s first team aged only 16 at the start of this season.

Midfielder Brown completed his switch to Town’s academy on deadline day following a trial having made 37 senior appearances for Grays. He came on as a late sub at Leiston.

“I spoke with [Grays youth team coach] Phil Sackey and he told me to come and look at this lad’s potential and I was impressed,” Stuart told the Thurrock Gazette.

“He and a number of young players got involved in training and Kai in particular impressed me. I told him I wanted him to play with confidence.

“He had some fantastic games for us and although he got a few whacks and was caught a few times he always carried on.

“He is a great lad and I spent time talking to his dad Wayne who is a fantastic gentleman. There was interest for a professional clubs. I spoke to Kai’s dad and said you must do what’s best for Kai.

“He came in to our team and did very well and although it will be tough for him it will be a great experience either way. As long as he keeps that hunger, he can go all the way.

“He is young but age is just a number. Look at me. I am 41 and was playing last season. These boys always have a chance.”

Elsewhere, Stratford Town striker Ben Stephens has hailed his recent trial spell with the Blues “a tremendous experience”.

The 20-year-old spent two days training at Playford Road last week before featuring for the U23s in Monday’s 5-2 loss at Colchester.

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