Ex-Sunderland defender gives glowing reference for Gateshead youngster Nelson Ogbewe ahead of two-week trial
Former Sunderland defender Ben Clark has given a positive assessment of Gateshead youngster Nelson Ogbewe as he prepares to spend a two-week trial with the Black Cats.
The pacy forward follows in the footsteps of another Heed youngster after midfielder Danny Greenfield made a favourable impression during a two-week stint with Elliott Dickman’s under-23s side recently.
However, the National League North club are yet to receive any official bid for the former Manchester United and Barnsley academy player after he put in two solid displays in Premier League 2 fixtures against Wolves and Crystal Palace.
Ogbewe is the latest young player to come under the gaze of Sunderland’s academy staff after he scored in a behind-closed-doors friendly against a Black Cats side made up of first-team squad players and Under-23s last week.
His trial will get underway later this week and could potentially last up until Monday 12th April, which means the youngster could feature in the Premier League 2 game against Reading and could also face West Bromwich Albion.
After impressing during his first season with Gateshead’s academy, the 18-year-old made his senior debut as a substitute in an FA Trophy defeat against Farsley Celtic in December.
His progress was rewarded with his first professional contract when he put pen to paper on a two-year deal earlier this month.
In the aftermath of the news of Ogbewe’s new deal, former Black Cats defender Clark – who now works in Gateshead’s academy - told The Echo that he is optimistic that the youngster can continue his impressive recent development.
He said: “Mike (Williamson) and Ian (Watson, Gateshead assistant manager) have told Nelson that he is accountable for himself now.
“His fitness and his readiness to play are all down to him, he has to take responsibility for his actions from now on.
“He still has a lot to learn, he’s come a long way in a short time, and we shouldn’t forget that.
“Obviously you have to be cautious with any young player, but we are optimistic he can build on the development he has made.
“He has a very good attitude; he is a talented lad, and we will do all we can to help him progress in a way we believe he can.”