Even after a meticulous study of clubs throughout the football divisions, it’d be difficult to find a club captain as young as Barwell’s Brady Hickey.
At just 20 years of age, the midfielder balances a Sports Science with Management degree at Loughborough University with the daunting task of controlling colourful and experienced characters in the Kirkby Road dressing room.
After busting onto the Non-League scene as part of St. Andrews’ FA Vase run in 2014, Hickey has continued on an upward curve since signing for Barwell boss Jimmy Ginnelly.
Despite the added responsibility of captaincy, the midfielder has thrived.
Ginnelly has been delighted with the way Hickey has conducted himself since being given the armband.
He said: “As a captain and player, Brady (Hickey) is coming on leaps and bounds.
“He’s so committed to the role and is always talking at training and in the changing room.
“Myself and Guy Hadland occasionally give him advice, but we don’t want to go overboard because we want him to learn.
“He had a great leader in Richard Lavery last season and he’s getting better and better all of the time”.
The skipper has been top of the club’s goalscorer chart since the start of the season, adding to his tally on Wednesday night with the winner versus Stafford Rangers.
While the Barwell boss is pleased with his captain’s consistent performances, he concedes that it will attract further interest from professional clubs.
Hickey spent time on trial at several clubs at the end of last season.
“His goals from midfield have been massive for us,” Ginnelly said.
“Hopefully the lad will one day gets his move to the Football League and the clubs at that level haven’t forgotten the name Brady Hickey.
“He’s developing as a footballer and a person, becoming a player you can rely on”.
The 20-year-old is not the only youngster in the Barwell squad making a good impression.
Romario Martin scored an injury-time winner against Coalville Town in the Integro League Cup recently, while fellow teenagers Ryan Baldwin and Sam Grouse have contributed since returning from successful loan spells.
After struggling to get first-team chances at Nuneaton Borough in his younger days, Ginnelly has enjoyed giving the youngsters an opportunity to impress.
Ginnelly beamed: “It’s a pleasure to watch players with as much enthusiasm as the lads we’ve started introducing to the side.
“Myself and Guy love being able to trust the younger lads to do a job for the team. They work hard and keep the opposition’s backline busy.
“I didn’t get too many chances to play first-team football when I was their age.
“It’s nice to give something back and show faith in them”.
Source: Barwell FC