George Cooper: Crewe teenager can go far, says Febian Brandy

George Cooper
George Cooper's first league goal came in only his second league start for the Alex

Teenage Crewe Alexandra striker George Cooper can go a long way in the game, says his team-mate Febian Brandy.

Cooper's stunning free-kick proved the winner for League One's bottom club in Saturday's 2-1 win against Coventry.

"If he can stay grounded he'll go far," Brandy told BBC Radio Stoke.

"I'm happy for the lad. He works hard and he's a talented player. Being here at Crewe will make him into an even better player. He's only a young boy already fit to play in a man's game."

Super Cooper already feeling like a number one
Cooper follows in the footsteps of Academy products to have found the net for the Alex as a 17-year-old in a Football League game
Max Clayton, now with Bolton Wanderers, was 17 years and 102 days
Nick Powell, now on loan to Leicester City from Man United, was 17 years and 207 days
George Cooper is 17 years and 344 days

Former Manchester United youngster Brandy, 25, who also scored on his full Crewe home debut after an injury-hit first month on loan at Gresty Road, knows what it takes to make it in the game, having played in the same youth team as Danny Welbeck.

And, after throwing Cooper in at the deep end for his league debut as a late substitute in the 6-1 defeat at MK Dons on 20 September, Crewe boss Steve Davis is also wondering whether the 17-year-old forward could be the next off the famous Alex Academy production line.

"He's looking like he belongs out there," Davis told BBC Radio Stoke. "He runs at players, he has two good feet and he gives us something with his free-kicks and corners.

"He's already an important member of the team. He was good last week and he's already gone on a notch.

"But we also need to remember he's only 17 and it's my job to manage him physically.

""I know there's been a big stink about Raheem Sterling saying that he was tired and, as a manager, you have to respect how players feel.

"It's not easy for a 17-year-old to come into this league, It's much easier in the league below."

The Alex were able to make light of the absence of joint top scorer Marcus Haber, who was away on a Canadian training camp in Mexico. And, although still bottom of League One, Crewe's second win in 12 League One games this season has moved them to within five points of safety.