BROWNE ON THE BALL: Youth club continue to deliver the excitement

Dylan McEvoy.
Dylan McEvoy.

Few things make you feel over the hill quite like watching the latest young talent burst onto the scene.

As someone who is the same age as Michael Owen, I marvelled as he ripped through the Argentinian defence, at an age where he was only just able to legally order a pint, to score that goal at France 98.

By the time a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney smashed home a match-winning strike against Arsenal for Everton I was closing in on my 23rd birthday and resigned to the fact that, even if I was a late bloomer, I probably wasn’t going to get an England cap.

These days, every time some new wunderkind bursts onto the scene I just feel my knees creak and think about slippers, cardigans and sensible bedtimes.

And that’s why watching Boston United is such a pain.

Not only has Dennis Greene assembled a squad which is once again becoming blindingly exciting to watch, he is doing it with kids.

Just take a look at the side which took FC United of Manchester apart this weekend, where Dylan McEvoy, Jordan Richards, Henrich Ravas and Alex Simmons - not one of them 20 yet - each played their part.

There are 35-year-old professionals who have trained daily since childhood who’d love to be able to whip in crosses with the precision and regularity of the Sunderland youngster, while Richards plays the game with the understanding that you’d expect from a much older head.

Ravas didn’t have much to do this weekend, but regular action also appears to be helping him blossom.

Cameron Johnson, Jason Alexander, and Lartey Sarpong didn’t feature against the Rebels, but all have additional promise while still in their teenage years.

These kids are at an age where they should be hanging around a McDonald’s car parks listening to bad dance music, saving up for the latest edition of Assassin’s Creed or being told to get lost by girls in nightclubs.

Instead, they’re excelling in a particularly unforgiving division of football and helping their team to go on five-game unbeaten runs.

But it’s across the board, too – not one player in the Pilgrims’ squad will reach 30 within the next two years.

Liam Marrs, Zak Mills, Carl Piergianni, Dayle Southwell, Mark Jones, Kyle Dixon and Nicky Walker are all 25 or younger.

Age may well just be a number, but this level of talent from a squad who are still closer to nappies than a 50th birthday party is mind-
bogglingly fun.

I’m so excited I may need a Horlicks to help me sleep tonight.