Youngster Kealan Steenson was delighted to be given the call up to the first team squad for yesterday’s FA Cup tie at Notts County – and now hopes he can get another opportunity.
A shortage of midfield numbers gave the 18-year-old his chance to travel to Meadow Lane and though he didn’t get on the field it was a day to remember.
“It was a really good experience. There was a big crowd at Notts County and it’s a good stadium so I really enjoyed being there,” he said. “I just have to hope that I can be on the team sheet again for the replay.
“All the lads were great with me. They all spoke to me and made me feel really welcome. It was a two and a half hour journey there but it was good.
“I’ve trained with the first team a few times in the last few weeks and we’ve played against them a couple of times and that makes it easier because you get to know them a little bit.”
Steenson travelled with the team less than a day after turning out for the under 18’s in their 3-1 defeat away at Blackpool, making it a busy weekend.
“I found out I’d be travelling after training on Friday,” he explained. “(Head of Coaching) Dimi (Lavrinovic) told me in the changing room that I’d be playing on Saturday for the youth team for about 60 minutes and then travel down with the first team on the Sunday.
“I just had to put it out of my mind and focus on the Saturday game first and then once that was finished I could concentrate on the Sunday.
The Stanley Academy has produced a number of first team players in recent years, with Marcus Carver the latest to make the transition to regular in the Football League. Last season defender Liam Goulding and forward James Jenkins earned deals after coming through the ranks and Steenson hopes he can follow in their footsteps.
“What I aim to do is get a professional deal,” he said. “I want to get out there playing on the pitch with the first team one day.
“I just have to keep going, keep my head down and do what I do and see what happens for the rest of the season.”