Mitch Austin believes Mathew Stevens is “more than capable” of firing in the goals for Kettering Town during his month-long stay with the club.
The 19-year-old Peterborough United frontman is set to lead the line for the Poppies in their opening Evo-Stik South League Premier clash at Slough Town on Saturday with last season’s top scorer Aaron O’Connor ruled out of the first three matches due to suspension.
Stevens joined Kettering an initial month’s loan last week and made an immediate impact as he opened the scoring the 3-0 friendly success at Spalding United before hitting two goals as the Poppies rounded off pre-season with a 5-0 victory at Rushall Olympic.
And assistant-manager Austin has no doubts that Stevens can fill the void left by O’Connor’s untimely ban.
“Mathew is a good boy and he is very, very talented,” Austin, who was appointed as Marcus Law’s assistant during the summer, said.
“He is just a great young player and while I am sure we would love to keep him for longer than a month, I think that if he carries on like he is then he will be back in the Football League and pushing for a place at Peterborough.
“But it is men’s football for him and he has looked very good in the two games he has had with us.
“However, we know that nothing can be judged in pre-season because teams are always trying different things.
“Hopefully he will go and score goals for us in the league and, from what I have seen, he is more than capable of that.”
Don’t miss a full preview of Kettering Town’s first game of the season in Thursday’s Northamptonshire Telegraph