Date:Monday April 19 2010
Lenny Sowah drew glowing praise from Avram Grant after making his full debut for Pompey yesterday.
Grant had this to say about the youngster to The Pompey Site: 'Lenny Sowah was up against very good players but did the job very well.'
'He defended very well but also had good moments going forward. I'm very pleased for him.'
The 17-year-old, who become the first player in premier league history to play in the competition that was born inside its 'creation' in August 1992 - clearly the older the premier league becomes the more will do this, coped well with Ashley Young and Stuart Downing and should rightly savour the moment, as I am sure he will.
In the 1st half I did not think people were passing to him enough and giving him the chance to come forward, although as the game went on they were doing this more and he started growing in confidence and getting forward well.
Clearly the kid still has a lot to learn, but he is very young, so he will!
He also, quite obviously, has lot of growing to do but again he will and he will bulk up too - we just have to look at Marc Wilson for this, between the end of last season and pre-season ahead of this one he grew and had clearly spent time in the gym to develop physical strength, this is something that Lenny will also do in time, and time is something he has plenty of.
He was given plenty of encouragement, which would have helped - as would the backing of the fans - but most importantly the confidence that the players started having in him as the game went on, giving him the ball more and encouraging him to use it, would have certainly helped.
In the likes of Sowah, Joel Ward - who I feel will be a regular in the heart of our defence in the years to come - and Matty Ritchie, who all featured yesterday, we have 3 talented youngsters that are likely to play a further part as the season goes on, and will be, or should be, 1st team quad regulars, if not starters, next season.
We also have a number of other youngsters at this club who 'could' come through with Marlon Pack having every chance of making his debut before the season is out too...
Clearly these chances would not have come along had our situation been different, but it has and they are taking this chance and I am glad for them - all clubs want to see their own produce out on the pitch, right? And we ended the game yesterday with 4 players that have come through our academy playing. That meant a lot to me, especially seeing a couple of genuine local lads playing too.
The kids are our future, this is something that ALL clubs need to look at - our club, given our circumstances, more so, but they, with some experience around them throughout the spine of the side, will do ok I am sure.
Yep, the kids are going all right, and long may this continue!
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Monday April 19 2010
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