Hawks keeper Young set for next test against Hammers

Hawks keeper Ryan Young in action against Pompey. Picture: Mick Young
Hawks keeper Ryan Young in action against Pompey. Picture: Mick Young
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Ryan Young is set for another test against West Ham under-21s at Westleigh Park tonight (7.45pm).

The new Hawks keeper impressed in the opening 45 minutes against Pompey at the weekend.

It was a good sign ahead of the new season.

And he is looking forward to what promises to be another good occasion for Lee Bradbury’s men.

Young was born on the Isle of Wight and moved his family back there earlier this year.

That meant he was keen to move down from AFC Telford.

Bradbury swooped to bring him to Westleigh Park and the 34-year-old looks to be a quality signing.

He won Conference North last season and was rated as the best keeper in that league.

For Young, pre-season is all about regaining full sharpness.

He said: ‘Getting 45 minutes under the belt against Portsmouth was very enjoyable.

‘I am not as sharp as I would like to be yet but that’s what these games are all about.

‘It went quite well for me out there so I have to be pleased.

‘With three goalkeepers at the club, all wanting to play week in, week out, it is going to be competitive.

‘I am sure we will all push each other as much as we can.

‘After seven great years playing non-league football in the midlands it is nice to be back home.

‘I went out on a high, winning promotion with AFC Telford and couldn’t have wished for any more.

‘It has given me a taste for further success and you have to go for it.

‘The Hawks missed out narrowly last season and hopefully that can change this time around.’

In the first 45 minutes against 
Portsmouth, Young made a couple of good saves.

His best came when he went full stretch to push away Ben Tarbuck’s 25-yard drive which was heading for the bottom corner.

Apart from his saves, Young also displayed a confident willingness to organise his defence.

Boss Bradbury was pleased with Young’s contribution against Pompey.

He said: ‘Ryan was commanding at the back, talked well and also kicks the ball well.

‘He kept a clean sheet and that was a real positive.’

Bradbury may have to do without two of his new signings against the Hammers.

Striker JJ Hooper and midfielder Brian Dutton both limped out of the action early on against Portsmouth.

Hooper has a hamstring problem and Dutton a calf strain.

Bradbury may decide not to risk them so soon after the weekend.

‘They are important players to us,’ said the Hawks manager.

‘West Ham will be bright and quick and give us another good test.

‘Over the years they have brought some top players through their Academy.

‘They include the likes of Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole.

‘I am sure their latest crop will contain a few more gems too.

‘It will be a great opportunity for people to come and see them.’

Hawks: Young, Bevan, Searle, Huggins, Harris, Woodford, Strugnell, Cummings, Blanchett, Ryan, Donnelly, Ciardini, Swallow, Bubb, Przespolewski, Monteiro, Dutton, Hooper, Wedlake.