The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Sam El­liott

READ­ING and Bur­ton Al­bion tar­get Nathan Fer­gu­son has been told that he should see out the sea­son at Non-League Grays Ath­letic.

The Premier League-chas­ing Roy­als and Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink’s League One lead­ers are two of the clubs look­ing to sign the 19year-old hold­ing midfielder.

Ry­man Premier Grays have a rich history of fast-track­ing play­ers to the top in their Con­fer­ence days, with Michael Kightly, Aaron McLean and Gary Hooper just a few of their for­mer stars to go on and en­joy fan­tas­tic ca­reers.

The club’s striker Dumebi Du­maka has also been linked with West Ham, but both play­ers have been told it would be bet­ter for their progress if they stayed put un­til they are ready for the first team.

Grays man­ager Mark Bent­ley told The FLP that Fer­gu­son should learn from his mis­takes and fo­cus on his football af­ter him­self be­com­ing side-tracked by trans­fer talk.


“I had a sim­i­lar level of dis­cus­sion about me when I was com­ing through at Alder­shot as a kid,” the ex-Southend and Gilling­ham

midfielder ex­plained. “Clubs sim­i­lar in sta­tus to the ones they are say­ing want Nathan and DD, too. My story should serve as a warn­ing re­ally. It didn’t hap­pen for me as I let peo­ple get into my head and started to be­lieve the hype.

“Agents were knock­ing on my door promis­ing it all – what I should have been do­ing is get­ting my head down and work­ing ev­ery hour of the day, but I let it dis­tract me.

“It plays on your mind, so my ad­vice is to trust the peo­ple you are with and fo­cus only on your next game of football. They are both play­ing first team football and should keep do­ing that here and let na­ture take its course. Sit­ting in U21 sides is not what they need.”

How­ever, the prospect of play­ing for Premier League leg­end Has­sel­baink would oc­cupy most minds and the Bur­ton Al­bion boss con­firmed his in­ten­tion to sign Fer­gu­son.

PIC­TURE: Steve Waller

WANTED: Nathan Fer­gu­son (left)

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