Teenage striker Joe Iaciofano could be a surprise inclusion on the bench for the Cobblers’ FA Cup second round trip to Stourbridge on Tuesday night (ko 7.45pm).
But even if the 18-year-old doesn’t make the matchday squad for the trip to the west midlands, Town boss Rob Page has confirmed the Sixfields youth development product is very much part of his first team plans.
Iaciofano has been in brilliant form for the Cobblers youth team this season, and he took his goal tally to 18 with another double in last weekend’s 2-2 EFL Youth Alliance draw with Southend United.
The youngster, who was involved in a number of Town’s pre-season matches, has made one substitute appearance for the first team already this season, replacing Alex Revell for the final 16 minutes of the Checkatrade Trophy clash with West Ham United at the beginning of November.
Page has revealed that Iaciofano would also have been on the bench for the original FA Cup tie at Stourbridge on December 4.
And although he wouldn’t confirm if he will be involved for the rearrangement, he did confirm the youngster is now regularly training with the first team as he is readied for life in the senior ranks.
“Joe would have been in the squad for the original game at Stourbridge, as we had a couple of niggles when the game was called off there,” said the Town boss.
“He has been very good consistently this season for the youth team, and I think he has scored 17 or 18 goals so far, so he has an eye for goal.
“We make him train with the first team now on a daily basis, and that has brought him on again to another level, from a physical point of view and also how quick the training is compared to what he is used to.
“That will help with his development, but when you have somebody in your youth team that is scoring goals and has a natural eye for goal, you can’t ignore it.
“So he will be a part of our squad, and I have always done it, whatever club I have been at.
“I am not afraid to look at what we have got in the youth system and help to promote that.”