Last Tuesday, the tight battle in the Thameside Trophy match between Concord Rangers and Aveley FC saw full-back, Archie McFadden, making his competitive debut for the Beach Boys. Coming on at halftime, McFadden changed the game, linking up well with the experienced footballer, Danny Green. In and out of the squad this season, Archie looks set to make a good impression on both Dan Scopes and his Management Team.

The young player has been at Concord since he was 13-years-old, making his First Team debut in this year’s pre-season game against East Thurrock, before starting against Hashtag United 2 days later. He told me: “It feels good to be involved in the First Team. I’m learning a lot about the game being in and around as it is a new opportunity and challenge for me.” McFadden has been one of two youth players to be involved around the first team this season. His close mate, Alex Hernandez, also made his competitive debut in the 2-0 defeat to Dartford a few weeks ago.

McFadden stated: “I thought I played well when I came on. I thought I affected the game in a positive way but there are still things I need to work on. I think I am learning a lot from Scopes in my positioning and from all the senior players, which is improving me as a player and as an individual”

Scopes has mentioned many times how important youth players are to the club. McFadden said: “I think he’s a very good manager because I’m learning a lot from him, it’s improving my game. I like how he has faith in us youngsters to bring us along and let us get in and around it all.”

The 16-man squad saw 9 players from the youth team feature alongside senior players, such as Decarrey Sheriff and Jack Cawley. “The senior players have welcomed me very well, made me feel like part of the team and I also think they trust my ability as a young player. I’m also learning a lot from them as well as they are talking to me constantly.” McFadden continued, “It’s good to be around them as they have played the game at a good standard so just watching them, I am learning a lot. They are a very good group of lads that I get on with.”

After putting in great 45 minutes against Aveley up and down the right side, McFadden looks set to have more involvement in the first team this season but also wants to achieve another successful season with the U/18s. “A goal for this season is to try get a few more appearances for the First Team. Another is to go and win a few trophies for the U/18s.” Last season, Chris Search and his Team went on to win two competitions, including the County Cup. “It will be hard to top this year, but with the squad and the strength we have, I think we can. As I said it will be very hard, but Chris Search puts a lot of time and effort into us. He is good to us and he played a massive part in our success last year.”