16-year-old Harvey Cribb has enjoyed a whirlwind couple of weeks in claret and blue and hopes to kick on even further by making his home league debut this weekend when the Iron host Colchester United.
From last playing for the Under-18s in mid-February - an consistent achievement in itself considering the youngster is yet to leave school - to training with the first team, to making his EFL debut and becoming the club’s youngest ever player to make a league appearance against Sutton United, Cribb then started in the heart of United’s midfield last weekend as the side travelled to Crawley Town.
Reflecting on the recent run of events which has plunged him into the first team, he told iFollow Iron: “It’s been enjoyable. I’ve worked hard and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been good.
“It’s definitely been a surprise. I never thought I’d start a game this season, but I think I’ve been doing well on the training pitch, and I’ve got a good attitude towards the team and everyone.”
The opportunities for young players have come via First Team Manager Keith Hill, who has not only handed Cribb his starting birth while still studying for his GCSEs, but the matchday squad also sees a number of Academy talents, with the likes of Harry Lewis, Jack Moore-Billam and Ethan Young consistently featuring on the substitute’s bench.
Speaking about the influence of the gaffer, he continued: “He’s been really good. He demands high standards, and I’ve worked hard to achieve them. He’s been really influential.
“The players have been really good, really supportive and they’ve helped me settle in and feel welcome. I feel like I’m picking stuff up from them, and it’s been really enjoyable to work alongside them.”
Coming towards a vital time in his education, the youngster is also studying for his end-of-year exams, with Keith Hill quipping in his interview last weekend that the 16-year-old was studying while travelling to the capital.
He also reflected on the game last weekend, which was his first start just seven days after his first substitute appearance.
“It’s been tough, because sometimes I have my mind elsewhere,” he stated.
“I feel like I’m getting really good support from everyone and I’m managing to channel it and do well in both.
“Definitely the game against Crawley was a lot higher tempo. It’s a lot different to what I’m used to, but I enjoyed it and thought I did well. I think I’ve always been quite a clever player and understood the game.”
The prospect of completing a trio of achievements in as many games comes with a potential home league debut on Saturday. While the previous two stepping stones have been major landmarks in his career to date, playing in front of the home supporters, and his family, adds a significant extra edge.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he added.
“As always, we will work hard and see where it takes us. Hopefully, I can enjoy it, and hopefully we can come out with a win. I will give 100% and work hard for the team.”
See much more from Harvey Cribb and Keith Hill on iFollow Iron.