Leeds United: Rise of young guns gives Hockaday food for thought

Charlie Taylor knocks in a cross.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Charlie Taylor knocks in a cross.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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DAVE HOCKADAY admits the performances of several young players from the weekend has given him considerable food for thought.

Highly-rated midfielder Lewis Cook excelled in Leeds United’s 2-0 weekend win at Guiseley, with Charlie Taylor, Ross Killock and Zac Thompson also handed starts and Lewis Walters also featuring.

Also on Saturday, teenage striker Robbie McDaid, 17, hit a hat-trick as United U18s hammered York City 8-0, while an under-21s side including Dominic Poleon, Chris Dawson and Alex Cairns, eased past Garforth Town 4-0.

Poleon, involved in the first-team squad for most of last season, was a surprise omission from the match-day squad at Guiseley, but found the net at Garforth, with head coach Hockaday pleased with his contribution and that of many others seeking to push their way into his plans.

Hockaday, whose side visit Mansfield tomorrow night when Poleon is likely to be involved, said: “I had good reports from the under-18s and under-21s from Saturday, while we had a few of the youngsters who played in the squad at Guiseley.

“For me, if you are good enough, you are old enough. My history is about giving young players a chance and if anyone is good enough in the academy and 21s, they will get their opportunity.

“Poleon did well for the under-21s and did well and his attitude was good and will come along and be involved to some degree.”

Meanwhile, Hockaday is remaining tight-lipped on reports that United are closing in on a move for former Italy under-21 midfielder Federico Viviani with talks between the club and Roma underway.

He said: “There’s loads of names out there and people linked with Leeds. But until such time as they sign on the dotted line, I am best not saying anything.”

STRONG: Leeds United's Ronaldo Vieira excelled on his return to the Whites midfield. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

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