Cobblers teenager Joe Iaciafano has joined county neighbours Corby Town on a work experience deal.
The 18-year-old striker has impressed manager Justin Edinburgh in training, and he feels the youngster needs to get out and play regular first team football at a senior level.
A prolific scorer for the under-18 team this season, Iaciafano has made three brief substitute appearances for the Cobblers first team, but is likely to find opportunities even more limited at Sixfields in the second half of the season following the loan signings of forwards Keshi Anderson and Michael Smith.
Edinburgh is keen for Iaciafano to experience the ‘intensity’ of first team football, and pointed to the success of another Town teenager, midfielder Shaun McWilliams, who has been in excellent form on loan at King’s Lynn this season.
“I have been really impressed with Joe and feel he would benefit hugely from some work experience, playing first team football,” said Edinburgh.
“Playing under 18s football is fine, but there is nothing like the intensity of first team football at whatever level for a player to learn.
“He will still train with us during the week but will gain a lot from playing matches in front of a crowd, where results matter and where he is playing with and against senior, experienced players game in, game out.
“I have seen how much Shaun McWilliams has benefitted from his loan spell earlier this season.
“I have been really impressed with Shaun, and spending a few months with King’s Lynn has driven his game on, and we feel Joe will benefit in the same way.”
Under the terms of a work experience, Iaciafano is eligible to play for both the Cobblers and the Corby, so can be recalled by Edinburgh at any time.
He will continue to train with the Cobblers through the week.
The Steelmen are managed by former Rushden & Diamonds midfielder Gary Mills, and play in the Evo-Stik Northern League Premier Division.
They are currently in the relegation zone, but have launched something of a revival in recent weeks and have given themselves a great chance of staying up.
On Saturday, Iaciafano is set to make his debut in a crucial clash at fellow strugglers Frickley Athletic.
Iaciafano joins another youngster on work experience at Rockingham Triangle, as last week Mills signed Milton Keynes Dons teenager Andrew Osai-Bonsu.