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Knocking on the first team door

By Ian Appleyard | 9th March 2018

Teenage winger Vinnie Steels could be on the brink of a call-up to the City first team squad.

Cameroon-born midfielder Clovis Kamdjo and St Kitts and Nevis international Theo Wharton are also knocking on the door, according to manager Martin Gray.

Steels, still only 16, rejected interest from a Premier League club to join City from Darlington last month and has been impressive in the reserves.

Kamdjo, 27, has now played four reserve team games after a 15 month battle to return to action following a serious knee injury.

Midfielder Wharton, meanwhile, has started only six games since arriving from Cardiff City last summer but caught the eye against Middlesbrough Under-23s this week and has also been called up for international duty.

Commenting on Steels, Gray said: “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. I have put kids in who are 16 and 17 and won championships. The kid has a great future in my opinion. Age is just a number. I think (Wayne) Rooney was a great example of that.

Asked if he could feature, Gray, said: "Yes, if he keeps performing as he has been doing. I think everybody is looking at him and thinking 'wow', where’s this kid coming from?

"He has got a bright future but he is just starting out and has got to continue to work hard. He has been in the building two or three weeks and is getting very, very comfortable with the surroundings.

"The senior players have been fantastic with him, possibly because they can see his quality and trust him. He is a young boy and needs managing right. I have told him to go out and excite people. I don’t want to change what he is about."

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's Vanarama National League North game against Boston United at Bootham Crescent (kick-off 3pm), Gray also praised Kamdjo and Wharton.

“Clovis was a real positive to come out of the reserve game. He looked the best he has been since coming back. He is moving better, he has got himself a goal, and the timing of his heading was good," said Gray.

"He’s giving himself a chance. I was really concerned about him 6-8 weeks ago. You are hoping his movement, ability and strength comes back and, on Tuesday night, he showed all the signs that it is starting to happen for him again."

On Wharton's performance, Gray said: "Hopefully, the penny has dropped. I have seen a difference in the last two weeks on the training ground. He seems to have a bigger desire. He has got to back that up now. That has got to come all the time. It can't just come because we’ve got 10 games to go."

Watch Martin Gray's interview by clicking the link below now:

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