Why big clubs should invest in Wessex League talent

Sam Smart. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Sam Smart. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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Michael Birmingham has called on bigger clubs to be brave and take a punt on Wessex League talents.

The Horndean boss saw Sam Smart leave Five Heads Park last season in pursuit of a career in the game.

He believes promising right-back Benny Read could follow in the winger’s footsteps in the near future.

And that would be a source of great pride for Birmingham, who will not stand in their way.

Read was a stand-out performer as the Deans gave the National League Hawks a scare before losing 5-2 at Westleigh Park last Saturday.

Birmingham said: ‘Benny is a good boy and I can’t speak highly enough of him.

‘I challenged him at the start of pre-season to be the best right-back in our league.

‘In my eyes I believe he is and he can easily go on and play higher. I have told him he is the best now he has to go out and show it.

‘Some people think he is too small. But you could see the way he played against the Hawks he is a fantastic athlete with a great outlook.

‘For someone so small he is also very strong. He doesn’t fear anything and is prepared to take opponents on.

‘If people were brave enough they should start looking at Wessex League players like Benny.

‘If he got the chance to progress we would not stand in his way. He won't be making a sideways step.

‘If clubs higher up want to be brave and look at him it is not hard to get my number.

‘It happened with Sam Smart and he is now on trial with Sheffield Wednesday.

‘At our level it is all about progressing these youngsters. I have done my job if they move forwards to the bigger clubs.’