A lot of myself in Shrewsbury youngster Tom Bloxham – Aaron Wilbraham after teenager's impressive debut

Shrewsbury assistant Aaron Wilbraham revealed he sees a lot of himself in academy striker Tom Bloxham after the teenager's eye-catching full debut.

Bloxham, 17, was handed a surprise start in front of the watching eye of returning boss Steve Cotterill as Salop went down 3-2 in an entertaining clash with Oxford United.

Occupying a mixture of the right forward and lone striker role, the first-year academy scholar, who stands at 6ft 5ins, caused Oxford's defence a number of problems with his physical play, tiggerish attitude and neat touch.

And Wilbraham, professional striker of 24 years and almost 150 career goals, could not hide his enthusiasm at the former Leicester youngster's potential. Wilbraham has been raving about the youngster's ability and has even told first team coach David Longwell, who is ex-academy boss, Bloxham is 'the one'.

"He's not surprised me, to be honest, I've been raving about Tom to David Longwell, I've been saying 'he's the one'," Wilbraham said of Bloxham, whose full debut followed seven days after that of 18-year-old Charlie Caton at Blackool.

"He reminds me a bit of myself, in a way, he's raw, he wants to win, he's got that fire, he doesn't care about any other thoughts.

"He just wants to get the ball under control, he wants to win that tackle, the header, he's got the winning mentality."

Bloxham's parents watched their son's full senior debut on an iFollow video link from the Meadow car park.

Wilbraham has said how Bloxham's attitude to win has seen him ruffle feathers in Town training. Shrews' No.2 said the youngster 'does not care who he kicks'.

And Shrewsbury's assistant and first team coach have spent time working on the youngster's game in recent weeks.

"Myself and David Longwell have stayed out and worked with Tom over the last week or two and he really takes stuff on board, Charlie (Caton) does too," the assistant added.

"But he's that six foot four, rawness. We just told him to treat it like he does in training, have no airs and graces and just try to win. He really occupied their centre-halves for the whole time, he didn't go missing, he was always a focal point, from throw-ins, fouls, the ref could've helped him a bit more, but he didn't need the help. He was bullying the centre-halves, he was unbelievable."

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