Monday 12th April 2004
Collin has a bright future, admits Chatham Town boss Walker
Clive Walker, manager of Dr Martens League Eastern Division side Chatham Town, praised sixteen-year-old striker, Frannie Collin, after his brace helped the Medway side to a comfortable 3-0 victory over a very young Dartford team on Easter Monday, writes Stephen McCartney.
Collin opened the scoring after 21 minutes when he smashed a shot into the top left hand corner from 22 yards after Dartford half cleared Kevin Spriggs free kick on the edge of the penalty area on the left hand side.
Chatham doubled their lead two minutes later when Collin raced down the right hand side, delivered a pin-point cross for an unmarked Danny Kedwell, and the former Lordswood and Maidstone United midfielder's looping header dropped into the far corner beating sixteen-year old goalkeeper James Tedder who was rooted to the spot.
Collin wrapped up the comfortable victory from the penalty spot with thirteen minutes remaining after former Tonbridge Angels' defender Danny Tingley was harshly penalised for handball on the edge of the penalty area.
Walker was full of praise for Collin after his display at Maidstone Road. Walker said: "Frannie Collin is only sixteen years old, a schoolboy and he is different class.
"He has been playing well all season since I've been here and he ran Stamford ragged on Saturday and is always a threat."
Walker admitted Collin should be playing at a higher level, and he has been given a chance to impress at Nationwide League Division One neighbours Gillingham, after attending trials last week.
He added: "I think he is a League player and he needs to play with better players. He played for Gillingham's reserves in midweek but he is still has another year at school because he is academically bright. Even though I don't know what's happening next year, I hope he will be here."
With only three league games remaining this season, Walker revealed he will be looking to draft in more younger players as the Medway outfit finish the season with two games away from home.
Next Saturday, the Chats travel to Fleet Town before hosting Corby Town on 24th April before their season ends with a trip to Salisbury City on the first Saturday in May.
Walker, who has been at Chatham since November, said: "I'll probably get a few kids in now and look at one or two players. I've got a couple of suspensions coming up and a couple of injuries to players, so it will give me a chance to look at some of the kids.
Meanwhile, off the pitch, Chatham Town's new stand is starting to take shape and the club are holding a sponsored event on 20th April, where all players at the club will attempt to keep a ball up as long as possible over an hour. Collectively the club are aiming at 50,000 times and the money raised will be split between Cerebal Palsy Care at Bradbury House and the Save Our Stand fund.
Chatham Town are looking for sponsors for this fund raising event and anyone interested should contact the club.