BROMSGROVE Sporting boss Paul Smith has urged promising footballer Alfie Bloomer to keep working hard after he made a good impression on his first team debut earlier this week.
The 17-year-old forward, who has been plying his trade for the Rouslers’ under-18s and under-21s, was given his first dose of senior action last night (Tuesday) when he came off the bench in Sporting’s 3-2 victory over Inkberrow in the opening round of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup (SCMCC).
With plenty of raw talent at his disposal, Bloomer impressed in the 25 minutes he was given in front of a 220-strong crowd at the Victoria Ground.
And Smith, who requested Sporting’s youth sides to be brought closer to the first team on his appointment towards the end of 2014, believes Bloomer has a bright future ahead of him if he continues to work hard.
He said: “Alfie is a very, very good young footballer and I’m a big admirer of youth football.
“I completely believe in bringing players through from the youth teams which is why I asked for the under-18s and under-21s to be brought closer together and to be overseen by myself when I came to the club.
“Alfie is a great product of our youth set-up who wants to learn and listen. If he continues to do that he has got a very bright future ahead of him.
“There’s always the possibility of him making another first team appearance but it’s a case of he needs to keep working his socks off and impressing me for the under-18s and under-21s which is easy to do as I really throw myself into youth football.
“Ethan [Hanks] started the same, we developed him and he’s managed to land a place at Chesterfield, which he’s thoroughly enjoying, so if Alfie keeps his feet on the ground, he could do the same.”
Hanks joined up with the International Academy at League One outfit Chesterfield earlier this year and is now embarking on a career in professional football.
The International Academy, also known as the Player Progression Pathway, is legally separate from the League One club but uses the same logo as the Spireites and is based at CFC Village directly opposite the Proact Stadium.
Coincidentally, Hanks’ first team debut for the Rouslers came in the 5-0 demolition of Inkberrow in the SCMCC last year where he got himself on the scoresheet before netting again in the same competition in the 2-0 victory at Earlswood Town.