GREAT Harwood star Matty Derbyshire has got the scouts flocking to the Showground.
The young striker - who has scored 12 goals in five games - is thought to have a Premier club keeping tabs on him. But they didn't get a big chance to see him in the last two games as boss John Hughes rested the hitman.
The 17-year-old still, however, made his mark, coming on and scoring two late goals in the 3-3 Division Two Trophy game at Nelson on Saturday which went into extra time. Paul Mashiter had slotted home the opener.
Derbyshire didn't make such an impression on Monday night in the replay, only coming on for the last 10 minutes, and by then the Harwood win was already sewn up. Warren Baker and James Dean scored the goals in the 2-0 win which gives Harwood a quarter-final tie with Daisy Hill.
"Matty is causing some interest but he has done well," said Hughes. "He has come through the ranks here and I know there is a Premiership club watching him. And I have rested him in the last few games and started him on the bench. But the lads who have come in have done well. The Trophy games to me are more about giving the younger lads a chance. It is good if we win them but that is not the priority - obviously the league is. We have got a big squad though and the cup is the opportunity for youngsters to listen, to learn and have a go."
Harwood are in cup action again this weekend when they travel to Maine Road in the League Challenge Cup preliminary round tomorrow.
"I would rather have league games but, to be honest, while we have these cup games it means we are one week closer to John Eastham coming back."
The striker faces at least another month on the sidelines with knee ligament damage. Meanwhile, North West Counties First Division side Clitheroe have put seven days on Harwood striker Chris Heslop.
"We don't want him to go," said Hughes. "We have a good set-up here and we are trying to vary training with swimming and different coaches. We have a good craic, we stick together and everyone has a laugh but are learning at the same time. Youngsters do get a chance here and we want Chris to stay."