Foyle: Lelan and other youngsters the future of the Cobblers

Cobblers head of recruitment Martin Foyle (Picture: Pete Norton)
Cobblers head of recruitment Martin Foyle (Picture: Pete Norton)

Head of recruitment Martin Foyle is hoping Josh Lelan is the first in a long line of young players he will be able to attract to Northampton Town.

The 20-year-old defender signed for the Cobblers this week from Derby County, after being recommended to Chris Wilder by Foyle.

The head of recruitment has been in place at Sixfields since January, and says he hopes the Lelan signing is the first of many he can entice to the club.

“My job when I came in in January was to try and find these boys that are on the fringe, and we have had one or two of them,” said Foyle.

“I want to try and make three or four because it is the future of the club.

“We can’t keep getting top players all the time, so now if we can bed in and have that blend of experience and youth, it is a good recipe to go forward.”

Asked about his working relationship with Town boss Wilder and assistant manager Alan Knill, Foyle said: “We have known each other for a number of years, so there is that trust element.

“I have enjoyed the role, and Chris and Alan know that I will try and do it to the best of my ability.

“If I can get young players here to Northampton, and they can improve, then you never know there might be one or two that you might be able to sell on in future times.”

And he added: “The first two or three that come in are always going to be testers.

“I have been that manager so I know exactly what Chris and Alan are thinking.

“Sometimes you have to have that trust though, and not go blind, but we have to get him the right footage so he (Wilder) can actually see him as well.”

Foyle is confident Lelan will make his mark on the first team at Sixfields next season.

He insists the Derby youth product isn’t just coming in to make up the squad numbers, and says the example of Lawson D’Ath last season proves that Lelan could be a key man.

“Lawson was a boy who was on trial last summer,” said Foyle,

“He was going from place to place and couldn’t find anything when it come right to the end.

“Chris Wilder said ‘let’s bring him in and have a little look’, and there are shining examples and Lawson did very well last season.

“He had a good campaign and I don’t think the manager here has any qualms about putting young boys in if they hold their own.

“Then if they are playing well, and the team’s on a roll, you don’t change things.”

And what about Lelan? What can the Cobblers fans expect from him?

“Lee Glover (under-21 manager at Derby), who I played with, speaks very highly of Josh,” said Foyle.

“He highlights his attitude, and I think Chris wants those players, players that are hungry and actually want to come here and play for Northampton Town.

“At Swindon, Josh played on the right hand side of a back three, but he can also play right-back and slot into the anchor role in midfield as well.

“He is mobile, he is strong, and that’s good.”