Jamal Campbell-Ryce last night admitted he is “buzzing” at Che Adams’ progress this season after agreeing to mentor Sheffield United’s young players, writes James Shield.
Adams, aged 19, has made emerged as one of the Football League’s most exciting talents since leaving Ilkeston nine months ago and is expected to make his fifth appearance of the season against Blackpool today.
Speaking earlier this month, England youth international Louis Reed described how Campbell-Ryce “always took the time” to advise Bramall lane’s fledging professional and the former Jamaica winger told The Star: “Look at Che, he’s playing week in and week out at the moment. I’m buzzing for him but it’s up to us to keep him grounded. I’m going to be doing a bit with him before the game to remind him about what he should be doing and that’s driving at players. I want to help him be the best that he can be and achieve his potential.”
Adams scored twice as United, who overcame Peterborough in midweek, beat Chesterfield seven days ago and Campbell-Ryce added: “I speak to Che a lot and I tell him ‘don’t relax’ no matter what. The easiest thing is getting in the team. It’s much harder to stay in it.
I had to watch from the bench last weekend and the gaffer made a joke about me sulking. But I told him I just want to play. There isn’t a professional in the game who should be happy on the bench.”
Campbell-Ryce, who impressed at London Road, explained why he feels duty bound to pass on the knowledge he has acquired during a career spanning 14 years and 11 different clubs.
“When I was coming through at Charlton, some of the senior players there were brilliant with us young lads,” he said. “People like Scott Parker, Jon Fortune, Steve Brown and Clive Mendonca were among them.
“I appreciated that so now, as I’m getting older, it’s important for me to do the same and help lead them in the right way. There are going to be games when everything chops and changes but, as the oldest member of the squad, it’s important for people like me and Jay McEveley, the captain, to do that.”
“When you’ve got young, hungry and intelligent players then why not? They want to do well,” Campbell-Ryce added. “If they can bend my ear and ask me things then I’m more than happy to help.
If Reedy or Che aren’t doing something right, then we’ll tell them. The same goes if they are doing something right too of course. Look at Harrison McGahey. He’s a young lads who hasn’t played for a while but he’s so hungry to learn and get better. That’s brilliant.”