Preston North End boss Graham Westley is predicting a bright future for youngster Ben Davies after he made a ‘terrific debut’ on Saturday.
The 17-year-old Apprentice made his senior bow in North End’s 2-2 draw against Coventry City at Deepdale.
Davies, who can also play as a central defender, put in a solid shift on his senior bow and it was his cross that set-up Nicky Wroe’s equaliser.
Graham Cummins had put North End ahead but goals from Leon Clarke and a Chris Robertson own goal had put the visitors ahead.
While the draw brought a welcome point, it also set an unwelcome record of 10 consecutive home league games without victory.
Westley acknowledged that his side’s defeat at Walsall earlier this month had prompted him to reconsider his selection policy and look at those emerging from the club’s youth-team.
“I went away after the Walsall game feeling we had been beaten by a bunch of kids and I can’t remember that happening too often in my managerial career,” said Westley.
“When that happens you open your mind a little bit and I thought it was a good opportunity to see what our kids could do. I’ve brought a couple into the training shake-up – sometimes you have to be brave and go with your instincts.”
And Davies, who has been joined at first-team training by fellow second year apprentice Ryan Croasdale, has what it takes to make it to the very top, according to Westley.
“The minute I saw Ben in our environment, he made the same sort of impression on me that George Boyd did at Stevenage.”
“I expect George Boyd in this window or the next to move to the Premier League, and I’m not embarrassed to say that Ben has the same sort of potential. He got himself up and running as the game went on and was calm and composed. That was a terrific debut.”