SATURDAY’s FA Trophy clash with Newport County could be the cue for the next Jermaine Beckford to come off the Wealdstone conveyor belt.
Everton striker Beckford’s journey to Goodison Park from Wealdstone via Leeds United was the first in a series of high-profile moves for players mentored by Gordon Bartlett, with the likes of Carl Martin (Crewe), Graeme Montgomery (Dag & Redbridge) and most recently Marvin McCoy (Wycombe) making a similar leap.
Now Danny Spendlove says the tie with Dean Holdsworth’s Conference high flyers could propel the likes of former league academy players Alex Dyer, Kieron Forbes, Jonathan North and Alan Massey back into the same spotlight.
He said: "Most of the lads in this team have come from the youth ranks at pro clubs and these are big games when you are playing one of the top four in the Conference.
"There are some very young lads in this team, and it only takes a good game for them and they could do a Jermaine Beckford, Marvin McCoy or Graeme Montgomery as such and get themselves back into pro football."
Spendlove, a former Tottenham Academy student, resisted the temptation to flag up his own prospects in that regard, just glad to be back in favour after spending most of the early weeks of this campaign warming the bench.
Some would have been tempted to look elsewhere, but the flying winger says that was never an option and now he’s just looking forward to playing on the big stage against County.
He said: "I didn’t even contemplate clearing off - this is a good club to be at.
"This club is brilliantly run, the boys are brilliant and it’s that situation at the club which sort of keeps you here. I felt confident I was going to start playing and I’d do well once I did.
"Newport is a great game for a creative player like me - especially if there are a couple of thousand fans there as in the FA Cup tie against Rotherham.
They are the sort of games you want to play in."
What’s more, Spendlove says the experience of last year’s FA Cup run means he is confident Stones can spring a surprise.
He added: "We pushed Rotherham very close last year, so there’s no reason why we can’t give any team a good game.
"And the game has just come at the right time because we’ve just started playing well."