NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: St Neots Town chief Matt Clements sings praise of new boy Stefan Broccoli

PUBLISHED: 16:21 20 December 2017

Stefan Broccoli in the thick of the action during his full St Neots Town debut at Redditch last Saturday. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

Stefan Broccoli in the thick of the action during his full St Neots Town debut at Redditch last Saturday. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

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St Neots Town boss Matt Clements believes latest signing Stefan Broccoli can still have a big future in the game.

Ryan Horne pictured on the day he hit both St Neots Town goals at Tiverton. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES Ryan Horne pictured on the day he hit both St Neots Town goals at Tiverton. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES

The 19 year-old made a goalscoring full debut as Saints drew 2-2 at Redditch in the Southern League Premier Division last Saturday.

Broccoli boasts a terrific CV after having spells at Arsenal and Newcastle and Clements is convinced the youngster can climb back up the footballing ladder after an impressive start to life in the Saints fold.

“We’ve only had Stefan for a short space of time, but he has fitted in really well,” said Clements.

“He has conducted himself superbly in training and worked hard for his chance. He just wants to play football after a while out of the game.

“He has an excellent pedigree and last Saturday was a prime example of how good he is. He has played predominantly as a full-back or wide player during his youth at Arsenal and Newcastle, but he slotted in as a number 10 for us and was fantastic.

“He is a very clever and bright footballer who also boasts a very good work ethic. He plays with a smile on his face and that is what I like to see.

“I’ve not seen many players as technically gifted as Stefan is at our level of football. He definitely has the tools to progress back up the ladder and we’re delighted to give him the opportunity to showcase his abilities.

“Everyone knows how much pride we take in seeing lads step up and hopefully Stefan can be the next St Neots Town player to do that.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if people sit up and take notice of him pretty quickly.”

Broccoli was released by Newcastle at the end of last season after spending several months out injured.

He has since had trials at Football League clubs and an Italian third division outfit, and also cut his teeth in non-league with a short spell at Step 4 side Stamford AFC.

One man who won’t be seen in Saints colours again is midfielder Ryan Horne. He has opted to move to Bostik League side Sudbury after struggling to hold down a regular place in Clements’ side.

The Saints chief is looking for a productive end to a fine first year in the hotseat after taking over in the final days of 2016. His side’s two remaining games this year are both at home as they host lowly Kings Langley this Saturday (3pm) and then welcome high-flying Kettering on Boxing Day (1pm).

Clements added: “I’ll happily accept four points from these two games to complete a really enjoyable year as St Neots manager.

“The priority when I arrived was to keep the club in this division and we managed to do that.

“This season is all about making steady progress and everyone can see we are well on the way to achieveing that. Hopefully we can finish off 2017 on a good note.”

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