First-year apprentice Will Armitage became the youngest player to appear in a first team match for Cheltenham Town last Tuesday, playing the full 90 minutes in the Robins’ Papa John’s Trophy penalty shootout defeat to Exeter City.
Aged 16 years and 213 days, the teenage defender broke Simon Goodwin’s record, who came on as a substitute against Burton Albion in March 1996 aged 16 years and 245 days.
Commenting on the achievement, First Team Coach Wade Elliott told the club website: “I thought he did really well. He’s got a good temperament – he’s a good kid, a good learner, a good trainer. He didn’t look overawed by it at all, he looked like he really enjoyed it. I thought he did what we’ve seen from him in the games he’s played previously in pre-season where he reads the game very well and gets himself positionally in the right place. When he needs to head it he heads it and when he needs to defend one-v-one he did it well.
“It’s the first of many small steps. I mentioned his temperament straight away. I don’t think he or any of us will be getting carried away with one performance but he can be really proud. I think he’ll be the youngest player who has ever played for the club which is a significant achievement so he can be rightly proud of that.”