Blades starlet in football's shop window

THE latest chapter of a remarkable footballing fairytale will be penned in Bramall Lane's press box this evening.

But while Kyle Naughton's much-anticipated appearance in Stuart Pearce's squad has inevitably dominated the headlines, away from the spotlight two of his Sheffield United clubmates have also been taking important steps forward in their embryonic careers.

Adam Chapman's inclusion in Northern Ireland's party for tonight's Under-21s friendly against Scotland might not stir the emotions quite like an international debut in front of your own fans.

But for a player who, according to United academy director Ron Reid, can count himself desperately unlucky not to be cutting his teeth in the Football League, the match at Hamilton marks an important opportunity to catch the eye of the scouts and spotters set to descend upon New Douglas Park.

"I'm amazed that Adam isn't out on loan," Reid admitted. "And when I say that I mean nobody has come in to take him.

"Whenever he has been asked to step-up a level, his game has improved, obviously that will hit a ceiling at some stage, but the bigger the challenge the better he seems to play.

"We shouldn't forget that he still qualifies as an under-19 player and yet he's more than capable at under-21 level which illustrates that fact."

Reid adds: "I don't think it's possible to say what his best position is because he has done tremendously well at full-back but he's also done well in a holding midfield role.

"More and more clubs are employing someone in that area now and so maybe that's where his future lies. Adam does well in there because he reads the game well.

"He's got neat and tidy feet and a good technique but his footballing brain allows him to predict how the action is going to unfold."

In France, Aymen Tahar is among a select group of Algerian youngsters taking part in an elite training camp.

Reid said: "Aymen came to us through the Football United Racism Divides project so it goes to show that particular avenue works.

"He was recommended to us by the people there and we took him on.

"We've offered trials to quite a few boys from there and taken some of them on.

"They may not have made quite the same impression as Aymen has yet, but people develop at different ages."

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