09:00AM, Saturday 04 December 2021
Alfonso Tenconi, Slough Town's promising new striker, certainly caught the eye in Saturday's FA Trophy win over Havant & Waterlooville with his relentless running and hold up play.
He may not have scored but he did just about everything else, running the visitors defence ragged with intelligent runs while also holding the ball up and bringing teammates into play.
The 18-year-old certainly looks to have a bright future in the game, if that's what he decides he wants to do, and Jon Underwood certainly believes he's got all the attributes to do well.
And Slough may just have a former Ballon d'Or and Champions League winner to thank for Tenconi coming to the club and rising through the ranks.
Underwood said Tenconi used get one-to-one coaching from his next-door neighbour, a certain Andriy Shevchenko, one of the game's most lethal strikers who amassed 235 club goals for Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan and Chelsea.
Tenconi burst onto the scene a few weeks ago, scoring just a couple of minutes into his senior debut in a 2-0 win over Bath City. He then found the net in the 1-1 draw with Concord Rangers and has been leading the line well in the last few matches, dovetailing nicely with Ben Harris.
Both had chances to make Saturday's game safe, with Harris pulling a shot into the side netting and Tenconi denied by Havant stopper Will Mannion on more than one occasion.
Eton College educated, Tenconi has had a slightly different route into senior football, but Underwood is confident he will continue to blossom at Arbour Park.
He said: “We have a good partnership there. Alfonso runs in behind and Ben drops into the holes to get onto the ball. They complement each other well. Alfonso, in the last couple of games, all he's missed is a goal really. His all-round contribution has been fantastic, and those goals will come.
“Shevchenko was his neighbour and I think he's done some one-on-one training in Shevchenko's back garden, so he's had some good teaching there.
“He’s just coming out of school football at Eton College so he’s also a well-educated lad. He came into our u19s, got promoted to the u23s and we liked the look of him and nicked him for the first team and started involving him.
“He's done really well. For a young lad, who’s not been in a pro system or anything like that he knows the game.
“He can handle himself; he works hard and he’s level-headed, so he’s got a good chance.”