The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Joshua Richards

DA­GEN­HAM & Red­bridge de­fender Joe Wid­dow­son has de­scribed Jodi Jones as “the best 17-year-old I have played with” – and tipped him for the top.

Sev­en­teen scouts were at Vic­to­ria Road in mid­week to see the Dag­gers lose 2-1 at home against Ex­eter – and you didn’t have to be a ge­nius to work out who they were watch­ing.

Striker Jones con­tin­u­ally prod­ded and probed and even­tu­ally got his re­ward with a goal in the fi­nal knock­ings, us­ing his ‘weaker’ right foot to curl home from the edge of the penalty area.

It was his sec­ond goal in just his fourth Football League start, and Da­gen­ham are braced for bids to prise him away be­fore the trans­fer win­dow shuts at the end of the month.

“Jodi is a great tal­ent,” said Wid­dow­son. “He has a lot of abil­ity and is a threat when­ever he gets on the ball, he can make things hap­pen.

“He’s the best 17-year-old I have played with. He’s a big prospect, he needs to carry on play­ing as he has and I’m sure he will go a long way in football.”

Man­ager Wayne Bur­nett also knows he may only be able to call on Jones for a short time.

“I think his per­for­mances can only at­tract more and more clubs,” said Bur­nett.“He was our one bright spark against Ex­eter.

“I think he’s go­ing to go. It’s not a mat­ter of if he goes but when he goes, I be­lieve. We don’t want to lose him but if an of­fer comes in then we are go­ing to lose him.”

Af­ter los­ing their open­ing three League Two matches, the Dag­gers went into the week­end bot­tom of the ta­ble and Wid­dow­son says they must im­prove.

“I’m not happy with the way I’m play­ing at the mo­ment,” said Wid­dow­son. “I’m a de­fender, I pride my­self on keep­ing clean sheets.

“That’s my job and we’re not keep­ing clean sheets, we’re los­ing games so I need to look at my­self.We all need to look at our­selves and see what we can im­prove on per­son­ally.”

TAL­ENT: Jodi Jones

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