Mansfield Town have high hopes for 16-year-old forward Jason Law, who has just signed for the club from Evo-stik NPL Division One South Carlton Town.
After scoring four goals in three games for Carlton’s first team this season, the former Burton Albion and Derby County academy player this week agreed personal terms with the Stags and put pen to paper.
Mansfield have sent several players to Carlton on loan this year and boss Adam Murray said: “We’ve obviously got a decent relationship with Carlton and they are people that we trust as they do things the right way. “They look after our boys when we send them there for valuable experience and Jason has kind of slipped through the net.
“He is only 16 but he’s been playing men’s football for a long time which has given him a little bit of an edge.
“He is someone we heard about. There were a few people watching him so we took a gamble.
“With a lot of non-League teams like Ilkeston, their players have moved on to professional clubs and we seem to have missed the boat on a lot of them and we weren’t going to do that with this one.”
Murray admitted: “It is a gamble, but he’s a very good player. He’s a baby but not someone I’ve brought in to go and play with the youth team.
“At the moment we are giving him six weeks with DT to get him up to pace and physically develop him in areas he needs.
“But he is an executioner. He is an attacking player who opens doors and he scores goals, so he is someone I will look to get into the set-up this season.
“Part of the structure I am building here, when this club gets to where it needs to be for me in my eyes, whether I am here or not, is that it will have a big percentage of home-grown players in it - and they are brewing at the minute.
“We want success now but ultimately I have to look after the future of the football club, not for my sake, but for the people that pay the bills here. They need a football club that is sustainable and they can be proud of.”