Carr set to run rule over Cobblers youngsters as they kick-off FA Youth Cup campaign

Cobblers associate director Graham Carr
Cobblers associate director Graham Carr

Former boss Graham Carr is set to run the rule over the Cobblers’ academy youngsters when he takes in Town’s FA Youth Cup tie at Buckingham Athletic on Thursday night.

Carr is set to accompany Town chairman Kelvin Thomas to Stratford Fields (ko 7.45pm) as Jon Brady’s Under-18s side tries to progress into the next round of the youth cup.

As well as being an ex-manager with the Cobblers, Blackpool, Kettering Town and others, the Town associate director Carr is a renowned scout of footballing talent.

He worked at both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in recent times, and then was chief scout at Newcastle United from 2010 until last summer, when he left St James’ Park by mutual consent.

The Cobblers youth system has unearthed a few gems in recent seasons, with the latest success story being Shaun McWilliams, who is becoming an ever more important part of the senior first team squad after progressing through the ranks.

He was recently rewarded with a new three-year deal with the club.

The youth set-up is an area of the club that chairman Thomas is particularly proud, and he is hoping Carr will run the rule over the next batch of potential Cobblers players.

“I am looking forward to it, and I always try and get to the youth cup games,” said Thomas.

“I will be going along on Thursday, and I think Graham Carr is going to come along with me to give us a bit of guidance on what our youth players are going to be like.

“Hopefully he can give us a view of what he thinks we have got coming through.”

As well as McWilliams, the likes of Ivan Toney, Michael Jacobs, Mark Bunn and Luke Chambers have progressed through the Town academy in recent years, and Thomas feels there is more to come.

“We have some exciting times ahead in our youth development, I think.” said the Town chairman.

“Shaun coming through on Saturday and getting man of the match is fantastic, and to hear the fans singing ‘he’s one of our own’.

“It feels good that somebody like Shaun can come through the system and have an impact.

“He went away on loan, like the other youngsters are right now in Joe (Iaciofano) and James (Goff), and Shaun has come back a much stronger player.

“Except for hs injury, I think he would have had more appearances this season, and I am glad we have got him tied down.”