JOE SKARZ is backing fellow Academy product Danny Broadbent to make his mark at Town.
While left-back Skarz is an ever-present this season, fellow teenager Broadbent made the squad for the first time against Oldham on Saturday.
The 17-year-old striker didn’t get off the bench, but will be in action on the Galpharm turf for the Reserves tonight.
Walsall are the Pontin’s Holiday’s League Central Division visitors (7.00), and Broadbent will be chasing a fourth goal of the season at second-team level.
The second-year Academy player has started three Reserve matches and come on as a substitute in a further four this season.
And Skarz, 18, said: “It’s good to see Danny making progress, because he’s a great prospect.
“I played alongside him in the Youth Cup last season, so I’ve seen close up what he can offer.
“He’s not the tallest striker around, but he’s quick, he gets in behind defences and he’s a good finisher.
“I’ve not played alongside Danny this season because I haven’t been involved in the Reserves, but I’ve been down to watch their home games, and he’s starting to show his quality.”
Birstall-based Broadbent, who got his first-team squad chance because of injuries to Andy Booth and Lucas Akins, is an England junior international at both football and cricket.
His Under 16 soccer cap came in a 1-0 Victory Shield defeat by Northern Ireland at Chester two years ago.
“I’d love to force my way back into the England set-up,” said Broadbent, who plays club cricket for Liversedge when time allows.
“But for the moment, my focus is on Town and trying to play as well as I can for the Under 18s and the Reserves.
“Anything else that might come along is a bonus at this stage.”
Dave Heagney was the scorer as Town drew 1-1 at Sunderland in the FA Premier Academy League on Saturday.