Ashley Westwood insists he has no fears about throwing youngster Ollie Jones into Kettering Town’s starting line-up when they take on Lincoln City at Nene Park this afternoon.
The youth-team player has made a good impression on the club’s fans when he has been called upon during the last few weeks that have seen the Poppies squad significantly reduced due to others leaving and a transfer embargo preventing any new ones coming in.
And he may have to be used more often in the near future after striker Jean-Paul Marna confirmed he has cancelled his contract with the Poppies by mutual consent.
It brings to an end a fine six-year stay at Kettering for the frontman who became a big hit for the fans.
He is now expected to join former boss Marcus Law at Tamworth having hit nine goals so far this season.
Jones scored his first goal for the Poppies in the 1-1 draw with Bath City just before Christmas.
And he helped swing the game in Kettering’s favour on Tuesday with an impressive display after coming on as a substitute in the superb 2-1 win over Gateshead.
And caretaker-manager Westwood was impressed with what he saw in midweek.
“I was delighted for the young lad,” he said.
“He looked dangerous every time he got the ball and he gave Gateshead plenty to think about.
“He came on and showed he is capable of doing a job.
“I wouldn’t have any worries about putting him in from the start.
“But, at the same time, we have to remember that he is very young and it is always hard for younger lads to do it on a consistent basis.”
Westwood, meanwhile, is hoping the remaining players at Nene Park will receive their wages for December soon.
The squad were due to be paid at the beginning of this month but are yet to receive anything while a hearing for the winding-up order issued on the club by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is due to be held a week on Monday.
Westwood said: “I am assuming that a number of things will have to be sorted before the hearing.
“Hopefully the players will be one of those. They are putting a lot of effort in and they have bills to pay.”
Admission prices for today’s game are increased by £1 for all categories to go towards policing costs.