Head of Youth Darren Hare profile’s the club’s youngsters in action today.With four separate XI’s in action today at Faversham and Ashford United, Martin Allen gave the club’s youth team players a taste of first team action. For the benefit of supporters we got Head of Youth Darren Hare to profile the stars of the future on show today.
“Dan Bent played for Corinthians last season and we’d heard he was probably going to be offered a contract by Dagenham & Redbridge so we got in quickly and offered him a two year apprenticeship.
“He’s in the second year age group so he’ll only be eligible for the youth team for one season, so next season we’ll be looking to play him in development games. We just want to try and accelerate his development by bringing him in full time.
“He’s had a fantastic start to his young career, he’s been playing men’s football all season, he’s a strong boy and I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that he need to improve technically but that will come.
“He loves a tackle, he’s very fit and he’s done exceptionally well in the first few days pre-season training. We believe we’ve got a gem that just needs polishing. There are lots of ifs and buts but we believe he’ll come through and do well.
“The other boys are all first years and came through the club’s academy system. Callum Emptage is a right full-back, he’s a strong lad with a long throw, he can whip a great cross in, needs to improve a little bit one v one defensively but that will come. He’s a great lad.
“Mitchell Dickenson is a six foot two left sided centre-half or left back, can play in either position, he’s very composed on the ball and almost at times looks too composed, as if he’s got more time than he actually has.
“He needs to work on the athletic side of his game. He isn’t slow but he runs a little bit laboriously so we need to work on his sharpness over five or ten yards, then I think he’s got a massive chance.
“Little Connor Hendricks is only small and he reminds me a little bit of Hessy when he was younger, for those who are old enough to remember Hessy when he was 18!
“He’s a little terrier, good on the ball, likes to make forward runs and was always effective when he came on for the youth team as a schoolboy last year.
“Danny Leonard is another midfield player, more defensively minded. Loves to sit in front of defences and for me he is a good player, a good passer of the ball, uses the ball well and again he has got a great chance.
“Up front we’ve got Greg Cundle, he’s a bit of a utility player and it will be interesting to see how I fit all these boys in because they can all play in different positions.
“Greg can play right up top but for me his best position is quite intelligent, he comes and plays in little pockets of space, he gets on the half turn and technically he is very, very good. Obviously we hope he develops strength and power. He’s like Paul Shaw, one of those types of players.
“He can finish, I saw him score a hat-trick down at Oxford last season for the U-16’s and all three goals were superb finishes. I think he’s got real quality.