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AFC Telford United boss Paul Carden impressed by trialist Louis Baker

Paul Carden sees a bright future in the game for AFC Telford United trialist Louis Baker – son of the manager’s assistant Carl.

Paul Carden the head coach / manager of AFC Telford United (AMA)
Paul Carden the head coach / manager of AFC Telford United (AMA)

Attack-minded midfielder Baker Jnr, 18, has been on trial at the New Bucks Head since the beginning of pre-season and featured in three of their four friendlies.

He previously played for step three outfit Nuneaton Borough, where he lined up alongside dad Carl, 39, and formerly of Coventry, MK Dons and Portsmouth among others, who is still registered as a Bucks player.

Louis has caught the eye in training and in friendly cameos against Football League opposition Shrewsbury Town and Walsall and Carden has hailed the youngster’s impact – while adding he has been the target for a bit of stick.

“He came in and trained with us last season, he was at Nuneaton and I don’t think they were training at the time,” Carden said.

“He joined in and I said to (assistant) Bakes ‘he’s handy ain’t he, him?’. He said ‘yeah he’s got a bit’.

“I said see if he wants to come in a bit for pre-season, at the time we weren’t focused or concentrating on looking at trialists.

“He’s come in for pre-season and to be fair he’s got better. I thought he did well when he came on against Shrewsbury and really well when he came on against Walsall.

“He held off Manny Monthe, won a foul, there’s not too many who hold him off!

“And he’s 18, he’s definitely got something. Funnily enough Flynny, the Walsall manager, just said ‘I bet you’re gutted you got your dad’s looks!’

“He’s had a bit of stick already but he’s a good lad, coming from a good teacher, if you like, in his dad. Not only ability-wise but how to live.

“After the game he came in the physio room, got a load of ice, stuck it in the bath and did things right, did running after the game – traits obviously from his dad.

“He’s from good stock and we’ll where that goes.”

Louis once netted an FA Cup screamer alongside his dad for Nuneaton against Lichfield and there was almost a remarkable story late in the goalless friendly against neighbours Shrewsbury last week, as Louis headed agonizingly wide from a Carl cross.

“It was yeah, dad and lad, I said to him ‘you won’t get your pocket money now!’” Carden added. “You see at times Bakes is still capable. I play with my dad in an over-45 team, my dad’s 65, but we’re not as fit as those two!

“But my dad still shouts at me. For them two to be playing at a level like this and the calibre of players – the age Bakes is at, the age his son is – is a credit to them.”

Carden continued: “Honestly he’s got a really good attitude, a positive attitude has Louis. He’s determined, if he makes a mistake he tries not to let it affect him, he tries to win the ball back.

“He’s honest, you’ll see him closing down, tracking back in, I think he’s got a chance, me. It’s early days, but from what I’ve seen he’s got ability, desire and lives his life in the right way, he’s giving himself every chance.”

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