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First ever FURD prodigy stars on league debut

Kyle Walker, who was the first player to be recommended to Sheffield United by FURD coaches Luis Silva and Paul Archer back in 1997, has made an impressive league debut at Division One team Northampton Town.

Despite being booked in the sixth minute, defender Walker went on to win the praise of his manager in the 1-0 reverse to Oldham Athletic.

Stuart Gray, manager of Northampton Town commented “I thought Kyle Walker had a very good game on his debut and he was one of the few that came out of the game with any real credit”

The Northampton Chronicle and Argus reported:

'Kyle Walker paid tribute to Northampton Town boss Stuart Gray after he completed a lifelong dream to play senior professional football. The on-loan Sheffield United defender was a class act at right-back for Town as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Oldham Athletic.

'Walker can't play against Leeds tonight as he was not registered at the time of the original FA Cup tie between the sides, something which, given the quality of his debut, is a big blow to the club's chances of progressing.

'As a Yorkshire lad, it's frustrating for the 18-year-old but for now he is keen to concentrate on his high-calibre Cobblers debut.

'"I really enjoyed my debut and I'm really grateful to the gaffer for bringing me in and giving me a chance," he said. "All I've ever wanted to do since I first went to Sheffield United when I was seven years old is to play football and to finally get that opportunity, I'm so grateful.

'"I thought I did pretty well. I could have got forward a bit more but I pulled up with cramp which I'm a bit ashamed about. But I'm delighted to play.

'"The reserve-team manager at Sheffield United, Mark Smith, said I was progressing really well and he wanted me to go out and get some football and that's what I'm here to do."'

Kyle Walker (Click for full size pop-up)
Kyle Walker (photo reproduced with permission from Sheffield United FC)
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