A member of Hastings United’s managerial set-up says it’s inevitable the football club will lose Sam Cruttwell at some stage.
As reported in last week’s Observer Sport, the talented 17-year-old has been invited to attend a week’s trial with Premier League giants Hull City.
“It’s inevitable that the football club will lose him at some stage because he’s a good player,” said Ben White, who runs United’s under-21 team and is first team assistant manager.
“If you’re a pro club looking for a young player, he ticks so many boxes. He’s left-sided, he can play centrally as well, he’s a good size, he’s mobile, he’s composed and he’s happy to compete physically even at such a young age.
“Terry (White) has taken over and put him in the first team which has given Sam a platform and he has grabbed his chance with both hands. To be honest every single game he plays, he looks more and more comfortable.
“It was obvious to all the coaches at the club that once he was given an opportunity, he would kick on, and he just looks like he’s getting better and better.
“He’s got that confidence and belief that perhaps he didn’t have a year, 18 months ago, and the senior players are trusting him with the ball as well. They’re prepared to give it to him in tight areas because they know he’s going to look after it.”
White singled out several people for the role they’ve played in the recent development of Cruttwell, who played for United’s reserve team last season and Sussex County Football League Division Two side Little Common earlier this term at 16.
“Last year Glyn (White) and Paul Tuppenney played a big part in Sam’s development, and this season I know Conrad Moore and Bernie Walker have worked tirelessly with him, as well as with the other young lads at the club,” White continued.
“Sam also had an important spell dual signed with Little Common earlier in the season and the affect that Russell Eldridge had on him really helped him in terms of confidence.
“As a club our geographic location tends to be looked upon negatively because it can be a stumbling block at times when we are looking to compete to sign established players for the first team.
“However, I think that there is a positive factor to take from this in that the area’s young players can go largely untapped and therefore you will get boys like Sam that slip through the net.
“I’m sure if Sam lived in London that he would’ve been taken by a league club at a much earlier age. It’s vital the club takes full advantage of this and continues to look after the young lads coming through the system moving forward.
“Sam has got a fantastic opportunity and he deserves it. He is a great lad and I have no doubt that if he continues to listen, work hard and keep a level head, then he will fulfil his undoubted potential in the game.”