SWINDON Town youth team goalkeeper Josh Helm is a star in the making in the eyes of his coach Steve Hale.
The 16-year-old, who arrived on first-year scholar terms from Eastleigh this year, has impressed Hale and the rest of the Robins’ development set-up with his dominant displays in between the sticks.
In recent years the County Ground has been particularly consistent in producing talented young shot-stoppers, with Leigh Bedwell currently in the Swindon first-team squad, Jamie Stephens bought by Liverpool and Jared Thompson sold to Chelsea.
Helm will be tested to the fullest this evening, when Liverpool visit the County Ground in the third round of the FA Youth Cup, but Hale has seen plenty in the brief time he was worked with the youngster to be confident in his ability.
“Josh is a scholar that’s come into the club from outside and this season I’m starting to get to know him and what his strengths and his weaknesses are,” he said.
“It’s a learning curve for us but he’s doing particularly well in the games.
“We’ve played a lot of reserve and development team games and he’s only a first-year scholar, so he was 16 at the beginning of the season and he’s performed really well.
“We played Portsmouth earlier in the season and they had quite a few first-team players in the squad, we’ve played Bristol Rovers reserves and they had a strong reserve team out and he had a fantastic game.
“He made a couple of absolute worldies.
“So he’s done particularly well in the games.
“He’s still a bit raw and I’ve still got quite a bit of work to do with him technically.
“But he really is kicking on in terms of the physical side of it, getting used to daily training and he’s developing.”