Byron Lawrence can make Town first team squad

FIFTEEN-year-old Byron Lawrence has the potential to break into Paul Jewell’s first team squad this season.

That’s the bold prediction of Under-18s coach Russell Osman, who unleashed the schoolboy in a central midfield role in last night’s 2-0 FA Youth Cup win over Leeds United.

Jewell has already spoken in glowing terms of the left-footed midfielder, who has trained with the first team squad this season and was named as an unused sub for the Carling Cup defeat by Northampton Town in August.

And Osman admitted: “He has got terrific potential and he is someone the football club has massive hopes for. He has got a very good attitude, he is a very mature lad and mature physically as well.

“He has great natural body strength so he manages to withstand a few challenges out there that might hurt one or two others.


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“If he can keep his feet on the ground and keep developing the way he is going and keep improving, as he is improving year-on-year, this time next year or in six or three months time, he might be ready to jump into that first team.”

And speaking after the FA Youth Cup win, Osman had words of both praise and advice for Lawrence, who played 85 minutes in the win at Portman Road.

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The Blues legend said: “He was not overpowered or fazed – he’s very, very good. He has a little bit of learning to take on board about the side of the game when you haven’t got the ball.

“He is a terrific player on the ball, very exciting with terrific ball retention skills, but there is a side to his game when the team have lost possession of the ball, he has to do a little bit more. But it is learning curve for them all.”

And Lawrence is far from the only youngster to impress the Under-18s coach who added: “You can go through the whole team. They have a good work ethic and that is down to the lads rather than me cracking the whip.”

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