STEVE Johnson has tipped Callum Ross-Jennins to become the next Terras teen destined for big things.
The Weymouth boss reckons the Broadwey-based right back is on the verge of breaking into the first team at the Wessex Stadium.
And Johnson says the club’s move to start an apprenticeship scheme next season could prove the perfect timing for 16-year-old Ross-Jennins and a host of other local youngsters.
He said: “I’ve seen quite a bit of Callum over the last couple of months and I definitely think he is not far away from breaking into the first team.
“He’s got the makings of being a very, very good player and an added bonus is that he’s from Weymouth.
“I’d like to see nothing better in the years to come than for us to have five or six players from the town who have come through our ranks.
“We played a behind closed door friendly down at Plymouth against pretty much their first team recently and I decided to play Callum in that game to see how he would get on.
“He was up against some experienced and excellent players, like the midfielder David Friio, but Callum did fantastically well.
“I’ve got no doubt of his ability and I’m sure, if he’s patient, his chance will come in the not too distant future.
“Callum is one of four or five players in our academy and youth teams who are going to be good players and not too far away from breaking through.
“It’s an exciting time for the club and what makes the timing great for these lads is that we’re going full time next season and also launching an apprenticeship scheme.
“Becoming an apprentice will be a real incentive for these kids aged 16, 17 and 18 because they will get a small weekly income, daily training and a full-time education.
“It’ll be a great boost to the club and will hopefully show talented young footballers in the region we are the club to be at.”
Terras Football in the Community officer Tim Davis said the planned apprenticeship scheme will be paid for with Government funding.
“Callum has a got a lot of ability and has a great attitude and it’s great the manager thinks highly of him and other local youngsters such as Ross Carmichael,” he said.
“We’ve put a lot of work in getting the structure of the club right and the apprenticeship will be an extension of that.
“It’ll hopefully be a great attraction to youngsters and will give another platform for the players involved to improve their skills.”