Marcus Law was full of praise for youngster Ben Bradshaw after he played a key role in helping Kettering Town to end their home hoodoo in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.
The teenage midfielder, who has represented England at under-18 level, was handed his first senior start for the club in Saturday’s clash with Weymouth.
And Bradshaw fully justified his selection as he was named man-of-the-match as the Poppies battled back from a goal down to seal a 3-1 victory, their first at home in the league this season.
The teenager is now expected to keep his place in the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Chesham United while fellow youngster Ben Baker is set to return having played for the club’s under-21s at the weekend.
Law was delighted with the impact Bradshaw made on the full debut while he also paid tribute to the club’s academy system.
“The club is working extremely hard on a full-time basis to bring youngsters through,” the Poppies boss said.
“As a manager, you are forever trying to pick what you think is the right team and there is a tendency to fall on experience because of the pressure that is on the games.
“We lost Lewis Hornby late to a hamstring injury and instead of a mass reshuffle we put Nathan Hicks in at right-back, where he has played for us already this season, and we gave Ben his opportunity.
“He has come on a long way over the past year and he deserved the opportunity.
“And he has put in a fantastic performance. He showed he can cope with the physicality of it and he dictated a lot of play at times.
“He was a bit nervous at the start, which is what you would expect but he’s a young lad who is only going to get better.
“The credit has to go to Steve Kinniburgh and the chairman (Ritchie Jeune) for the set-up they have got in place.
“Ben Bradshaw and Ben Baker are both on contracts and that’s great because over the three years or so, they are going to be a big part of the club’s future.”