Poppies boss Law aiming to strike the right balance as young guns sign up

Ben Bradshaw has signed a new contract that will keep him at Kettering Town until the end of the 2018-19 season
Ben Bradshaw has signed a new contract that will keep him at Kettering Town until the end of the 2018-19 season

More Kettering Town youngsters are set to get the chance to shine in the remainder of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division season.

Poppies boss Marcus Law insists he and his players will do all they can to finish as high up the table as possible with their hopes of claiming a play-off place over for this campaign.

Three of the club’s under-21 squad – goalkeeper Callum Snow, midfielder Ryan Kenyon and defender Callum Willimont – have now signed Southern League forms.

And Reubus Richard-Noel, Rafael Garcia-Krailing and Ashley Eales have all signed on dual registrations from United Counties League Division One side Bugbrooke, who are managed by former Poppies under-21 boss Mitch Austin.

And, as Kettering prepare for this weekend’s trip to rock-bottom Cinderford Town, Law is keen to strike the right balance between staying competitive and giving the youngsters an opportunity to show what they can do.

Teenager Jack O’Connor has impressed in recent matches and others are now set to follow in his footsteps.

“We just want to finish as high up as we can and make it as respectable as possible and give everything we can,” Law, whose team sit in 10th place, said.

“But, at the same time, we do want to have a look towards the future and we have some of the under-21 squad signed up to play in the Southern League for the remainder of the season.

“We have to stay competitive so we will be careful how we use them but they will get an opportunity.

“It’s all about finding the right balance and making sure we are competitive.

“But we want to make the right decisions as far as these youngsters are concerned.

“We want to give them a chance while being mindful that we want to finish the season as well as we possibly can.”

Cinderford are clinging on to their Premier Division status and showed there is still fight in them as they claimed their second home win of the season on Tuesday night when they beat Frome 4-2.

Their hopes remain wafer thin, however, as they are still 13 points adrift of safety with just nine games to go.

But Law knows they will make it “difficult” for his team.

“At one stage that had got themselves on a decent run but they fell away again,” the Poppies boss added.

“However, they have had a good win in midweek and they are hanging in there.

“They have shown a lot of fight and they will make it very difficult for us.

“We are at a stage where there isn’t a great deal for us to play for, which is disappointing.

“But I expect us to go there and be professional. The players have to go and carry out their duties and go about their business.

“We will have supporters travelling down there and it is important we give them everything we have got this weekend and for the rest of the season.”

The Poppies, meanwhile, have confirmed that young midfielder Ben Bradshaw has signed a contract extension at the club, which will keep him at Latimer Park until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Bradshaw broke into the first team earlier in this campaign but had his season ended by a knee injury during the defeat at Merthyr Town in early November.

Bradshaw had an operation on his knee and is now hoping to resume training in the next few weeks in a bid to be fit for the start of next season.