Leyton Orient youngster Charley Barker impressing at Soham Town Rangers
PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:39 05 April 2017
Robbie Mason delighted with contribution of the teenager over last few weeks in Ryman North
Soham Town Rangers manager Robbie Mason has hailed the efforts of Leyton Orient youngster Charley Barker following his continued success at the Cambridgeshire club.
The O’s under-18 captain first joined the Ryman North outfit in February on a work experience loan and has gone to make nine appearances.
Barker has impressed and played an integral part in helping Rangers win their last three games to move out of the relegation zone.
Mason said: “Charley has done well and especially over the last few weeks he has been very good. We play a narrow formation where he has been in the middle of a three, so we have gone with a 4-1-3-2.
“He has sat in the middle of the three and he’s been very effective. I think he was finding his feet in the first two or three games and it was hard for him to get involved and we were short on players, so we were playing him out on the right.
“Even then he did well and what he needed to do, but it didn’t suit his attributes and his strengths are getting on the ball, finding people and if he can, driving at the back four, which he has done very well over the last few games.”
It has been a frustrating campaign for Barker with the talented midfielder suffering a pars stress fracture in his lower back in September.
After training with the first-team last season under Kevin Nolan, the injury halted the progression of the local youngster.
But after returning towards the end of 2016, Barker has again gone from strength to strength and caught the eye at Brisbane Road.
A loan spell was then arranged for the teen with Soham Town and Mason sung the praises of the diminutive midfielder.
He added: “We try to play football and we are not the biggest team in the centre of the park, but we have three very good footballers in there with ‘Chaz’ included.
“We want to play to our attributes and if we can get them three on the ball it is to our advantage. We don’t want to put battling balls in there, but if we can play football around teams, like we have recently, then that is the way we will go.
“Charley suits that because he has great feet and his centre of gravity is great. The amount of times he rides a tackle and plays somebody in is very impressive.
“He uses his body well for a young lad because he is not the tallest but gets away with it because of his feet and how good he is on the ball.”
Barker is the latest Orient youngster developing promisingly and the hope will be that it isn’t to the benefit of another club.