Stevenage boss wants to see Kennedy follow in the footsteps of club legend George Boyd

George Boyd. Photo: Comet library

George Boyd. Photo: Comet library - Credit: Archant

Former Boro winger is now in the Premier League having played for Peterborough Utd, Hull City and Burnley - and Westley wants to see goalscoring teenager work hard to fulfil his potential

Graham Westley says he wants to see Ben Kennedy fulfil his potential if he is to follow the likes of George Boyd and reach the upper echelons of the game.

The striker has broken into the Boro set-up in recent weeks after excelling with the club’s U18 team, and the teenager scored his first two goals in senior football in the 3-1 win over Hartlepool United on Saturday.

Westley managed Boyd early in his career, and describes the winger, who has gone on to play for Peterborough United, Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Burnley, as ‘probably the most exciting talent I’ve had under my wings’.

Kennedy, he says, must now build on his early promise over the next couple of seasons.

“I’ve seen enough players over the years come in and make their debuts and make the impact,” Westley says.

“I know full well it’s not what you do when you get your first chance. Whether it goes well or badly it’s what you do in the next 12 months, in the next 24 months, the next three or five years.

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“George Boyd is probably the most exciting talent I’ve had under my wings. George was always going to go all the way but in the early days he showed promise and it was him building on that promise that made the difference and turned him into Premier League player.

“Ben like many others that have gone before him can either capitalise on the chances he’s got or throw it away, and I’m sure he’ll work very, very hard and look to build on what he’s doing and he had a solid second start [against Hartlepool].”

Westley added: “He’s earned the right to play by some good performances. He caught my eye when the youth team played in FA Youth Cup. He did very well in that 10 role playing behind the front.

“I said to him [against Hartlepool] I wanted him playing up top. I wanted him playing with Beardo [Chris Beardsley].

“They played together in a training ground game and he got himself a hat-trick a couple of weeks ago. Those two away from home when you’re putting the ball in areas and chasing lost causes are a good pair to have as they’re willing to go and earn something.

“He earned plenty in terms of how he played the game and he took his goals really well.”