Freeman backing young guns

By David Watters

Lewes manager Darren Freeman is looking to unearth more stars among the club's youth ranks after striker Alex Laing signed his first contract for the Ryman Premier's Rooks.

Freeman, appointed in October as Steve Brown's successor at the Dripping Pan after leaving Peacehaven & Telscombe, is backing the club's focus on developing young players after securing the services of Laing, pictured, until the end of the 2016-17 season.

The 20-year-old former Crawley Town youngster has scored four goals this season after breaking into the first-team and Freeman told the club's website: “Laingy signing a contract with the club is excellent news. I’ve been hugely impressed with his desire and attitude since I’ve been at the club and he’s a young, local player who could go onto big things.

"He’s still quite raw and has got a lot to learn, but we feel he has many of the attributes to become a top striker. As a club we want our nurture our best young players and Laingy’s contract reflects that.”



Freeman is also backing young midfielder Ronnie Conlon as another potential star for the future after sending him out on a month's loan to Southern Counties East League Premier Division outfit Crowborough Athletic to gain more experience of regular senior football.

The academy graduate has made 18 appearances for the Rooks already this season, the majority of from the bench, and Freeman added: “Ronnie is chomping at the bit to play football and it’s difficult to give him that at the moment, so a loan move to a club on his doorstep for a month makes perfect sense.

“People forget he’s only 18 and has only had a handful of Ryman Premier starts under his belt. He’ll gain valuable experience by playing a month of senior football and he’ll still be able to train with us at times during his loan.

"Again, he’s got a brilliant attitude is a hugely exciting prospect who I rate very highly and we know he’ll be a big part of the club’s future."

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