Leo Da Silva Lopes could become the latest youth team star to make his first-team debut for Peterborough United.
The 16 year-old attacking midfielder is in the squad for the visit of relegation-threatened Crawley to the ABAX Stadium in League One tomorrow (April 25, 3pm kick-off). Harry Anderson and Jonathan Edwards, two other Academy players to have made their professional debuts under new manager Dave Robertson this season, are also likely to be included in the matchday 18.
Robertson is so keen to include Lopes, he wrote to his school headmaster to get permission to have a day off in order to train with the first team in preparation for the visit of ‘The Reds’.
“Leo was exceptional for me in the youth team this season and exceptional again in the under 21 game earlier this week,” Roberston enthused. “Some of the senior player were videoing Leo in action because some of the things he was doing were so good.
“The under 18s have scored 92 goals in 40 games so there are plenty of goals in that group and Leo really excites me. He’s good enough to play and I wrote to his headmaster yesterday (April 23) in order for him to train with us today (April 24).
“Leo has a lot of ability, but he also has a good temperament. He would not be over-whelmed by playing in the first team.”
Lopes was spotted playing for Powerleague juniors in the Peterborough & District Junior Alliance League.
Posh will be without long-term injury victims Jack Baldwin and Jermaine Anderson for the final home League One game of the season while winger Jon Taylor has now been ruled out for the season because of a persistent knee injury. Left-back Kgosi Ntlhe misses the final two games of the season because of suspendion following his second red card of the campaign at Barnsley (April 18).
A win for Crawley could seal their League One survival.
Matthew Etherington is the youngest ever Posh Football League player, He made his debut at the age of 15 at Brentford in 1996.
In line with other Football League clubs, Posh will hold a minute’s silence in memory of those killed in the fire at Bradford City FC 30 years ago