Brown Ferguson claims youngster Willis Furtado has all of the raw ingredients to play at a higher level than Ladbrokes League 1.
Stenny are currently without a victory from their seven league matches so far this season, but spirits at Ochilview have been lifted by the arrival of 19-year-old Ivorian Furtado, who scored in the recent 2-2 draw with league leaders Alloa.
He only recently arrived in the country, but has wasted no time impressing Ferguson and the Stenny fans with his performance.
And while the Warriors boss is keen to temper excitement around the attacking midfielder, he admits he has high hopes for him.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News, Ferguson said: “The reason why Willis has come over to Scotland to play with us is to give himself an opportunity to put himself in the shop window, so clearly the lad himself believes he has the capabilities of playing at a higher level.
“Now, he’s just turned 19, so he’s still a young player, but physically he’s capable, technically he’s certainly more than capable and he’s got a good game intelligence about him and he’s learning about the Scottish game all the time.
“The raw ingredients are there for the lad to progress. To what level? Only time will tell, but he’s certainly capable of performing at a high level and we’re trying to provide that platform to go and progress and do well.
“I do think the lad has got the ability to go and play at higher levels and hopefully we’re giving him the opportunity to do so.
“We’re playing him in a wider midfield role and he can play in any attacking midfield position, but I think he could go on and play as a striker – he’s a very attack-minded player.”
And Ferguson has compared Furtado – who has earned the nickname Nelly after the Canadian pop star – to a player that might be familiar to fans of British football, with former Wigan, Ipswich and Dundee United striker Jason Scotland springing to mind.
Asked who Furtado reminded him of, Ferguson added: “Jason Scotland was at our club last year – obviously at a completely different stage of his career – and Willis is far more mobile than Jason was when he was with us.
“But he’s got some attributes that are like Jason, in respect of strength and how he can hold off players and how explosive he can be in terms of getting shots off on goal.
“He’s not as good as Jason was at that but he’s very strong, he’s very athletic in that regard, he’s explosive and at the same time he’s got a directness to his play which means he can go and commit players with pace.
“He’s got attributes there that will allow him to progress up the levels and, for him, it’s just about working hard from here.”
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