James Reed will become a force for Boston United, says Tom Ward

Tom Ward (left) is tipping James Reed to grow as a player this season.
Tom Ward (left) is tipping James Reed to grow as a player this season.

TOM Ward is tipping teammate James Reed to become a force in the Blue Square Bet North.

The 17-year-old midfielder burst into the first team at the end of last season, making four appearances and scoring his first goal in the final game of the campaign, the 3-3 draw with Guiseley.

He was also named as man of the match in that contest.

“It was really good to see him progress from the reserves into the first team,” said Ward.

“He’d been fantastic in training for about two months before he got his chance.

“So we were all happy when he played his first 90 minutes and got his goal and the man of the match award.”

Reed – who came all the way through the club’s youth system – still has a year left in the sixth form at Boston Grammar School.

But while he’s studying for his A Levels, the Pilgrims believe his extra-curricular education can also flourish.

“I can see him just getting better and better,” Ward added.

“He could be a very important player for us next season.”

Reed’s rise from reserve team player to first-teamer is one Ward can relate to.

The centre back set out on the same path.

He left the comfortable surroundings of Sleaford Town - where he was playing alongside his dad Paul, and under the management of his grandfather Brian Rowland – to join Boston United Reserves.

His plan was to catch the eye of the first-team management and force his way into the side.

A dream which he made come true last season.

“When I came to play in the reserves I always wanted to make it to the first team,” Ward told The Standard.

“I felt I was coming into the best place to do that.

“But then, seeing players move up wasn’t a regular occurrence.”

However, he believes barriers between the two teams have since been brought down.

Ward added: “These days the manager makes sure the link-up is closer.

“We all mix together and train together more which is a good thing for the club.

“It encourages younger players.”