Teenager Jay Williams gets Cobblers call-up for Spanish training camp, but quartet miss out on Alicante trip

The Cobblers players during their opening training session at their Spanish base (Picture: Pete Norton)
The Cobblers players during their opening training session at their Spanish base (Picture: Pete Norton)

Teenage defender Jay Williams is the surprise inclusion in the Cobblers squad for their week-long training camp in Spain.

After impressing in training and in a a couple of pre-season friendlies, the 17-year-old has been promoted from the youth team group by boss Dean Austin and travellled with the 22-man squad to Alicante on Saturday.

The latest in what seems to be a lengthening line of products from the club's academy system, Northampton lad Williams now has a chance to stake a claim for a place in the first team squad for the season ahead.

"I have been really, really impressed with the young man," said Town boss Dean Austin.

"He worked phenomenally well in the first week when I watched some of the youth team training, and he really impressed me.

"He then came with the group last week to Brackley and St Albans, and I thought he gave a really, really good account of himself.

"He has come into the training group, worked really hard, done exceptionally well, and he deserved his call up."

Williams joins his Town youth team-mates Morgan Roberts and Sean Whaler on the trip to Spain, the pair having signed first team contracts in May, while other youth team graduates Shaun McWilliams and James Goff have also travelled.

"We have a growing influence of homegrown players from our academy in the first team squad and that is good to see," said Austin.

The fact the club have only taken 22 players to the Real Club de Golf Campoamor complex in Alicante means some first team squad members have been left at home, with the unlucky quartet being Luke Coddington, Joe Iaciofano, Yaser Kasim and Billy Waters.

Junior Morias, who only signed for the club on Friday, has also stayed at home and will work with the fitness coaches at Moulton College this week, along with the other senior players left behind

"It is never nice, because all the boys are my boys, they are all my players," said the Cobblers manager.

"But the fact is, I was only ever going to bring 23 out here is we had had three goalkeepers, and as it is we have two, so we are only working with 22.

"That is two players for every position, and it is one of those things, it is football unfortunately.

"We have a good balance of defenders, midfielders and attackers and those players who aren't here will be working hard back at home."

The Cobblers enjoyed their first training session in Spain at 9am on Sunday morning, and they were due to return for a second run-out at 6.30pm, with double sessions set to be the order of the day for the rest of the week.

Austin is delighted with the facilities on offer, and said: "The pitches are in mint condition which is really, really good.

"There is a good gym and an outdoor pool, so it is a nice environment to be able to mix the work with the recovery.

"The trip is a good opportunity for the new players to get really bedded in with their new team-mates, and it should be a good week for us here."