Squad update: Young players gain experience

An update on the progress of the many promising young players at the club.

18/01/22


We wanted to take the time to provide an update on the progress of the many promising young players we have at the club, as a direct result of our excellent U23 set up.

Our U23 side currently sits top of the Suburban League Premier Division which is great to see, but the biggest positive in our view, and of course the main priority, is the development of young talent for the club.

The standout success story so far has been Alfonso Tenconi, who only turned 19 at the weekend and has scored 8 goals in 14 appearances so far and clearly has a big future ahead of him.

One real positive to come from our weekend in Yorkshire was the involvement of six graduates from the A23 programme with both Alfonso and Eitel Goueth starting at York, Imran Kayani coming on for 30 minutes plus three others (Joe Lawal, Harry Williams and George Rose) featuring on the bench. The experience they all gain from traveling with the senior players, the overnight stay in a hotel (including some excellent initiation songs from them all!) and the big match experience will have been valuable for them all.

We work very closely with Ashley Smith to ensure these lads get the right balance of game time with the U23s and involvement with the first team but another important aspect is getting senior experience away from the club if they are not starting regularly in the first team.

Forward Joe Lawal joins Kings Langley today on a one-month loan, where until last week Imran Kayani had been getting some valuable experience in the Southern Premier League. Another striker, Ada Okorogheye - who broke through last season before getting injured - has now returned from the US and we'll be looking to get him some game time in the coming weeks.

Our young goalkeeper Michael Edegbe has made four appearances for the first team alongside a very successful loan spell with Egham Town, which has included an excellent FA Vase run which unfortunately ended at the weekend. George Rose, another excellent young keeper, has played some matches recently at Badshot Lea and was on the bench for us at York at the weekend, while another keeper, Fred Chapman is currently gaining experience with Holyport. All of these lads train with Trent Phillips and Jonathan North on a Thursday night.

Both Gabe George and Christian Rowe are currently playing with Binfield, while another young defender Lewis Pegg has been featuring regularly in the same league with Bedfont Sports. Midfielder Pierce McNamara has also played a number of games for Aylesbury United.

There are even more players coming through and impressing all the time, and these players will have the opportunity to become the future for this club - and some will hopefully go higher - so we felt it important to keep you updated on their progress.

Image: Philip Benton

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