David Lee impressed with Jussi Jaaskelainen's son Will
WHITES Under-18s coach David Lee believes teenage goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen has already showed he has what it takes to follow in his father Jussi’s footsteps.
The 15-year-old was one of the stand-out performers on Friday as Lee and Tony Kelly’s youngsters were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup on penalties by Sheffield United.
It was the youngster’s first outing at the Reebok – a ground his father graced for more than a decade for Wanderers.
And he made a string of crucial saves to help keep the score at 1-1 after normal time, forcing extra-time and then penalties.
The shootout saw him beaten four times as the Blades progressed 4-3.
Lee said the teenager did himself justice on the night and is confident the experience will stand him in good stead.
“Will is still 15 years of age,” said Lee. “It was an unbelievable experience for him to play at the Reebok for 120 minutes and then face a shootout.
“He came back in disappointed he hadn’t saved any penalties and that says a lot about his character.
“But he did fantastically well and pulled off some good saves to keep us in the game.
“I look two years down the line when he is more mature, and this experience will stand him in good stead.”
It was a landmark night for another ‘Will’ in the U18s side with first-year scholar William Abbotts netting a stunning equaliser to mark his own Reebok debut.
Abbotts admits, despite defeat, it was an experience he will never forget.
“It was absolutely amazing.” he said. “To play in a stadium like that – it’s just completely different to playing up at Lostock on a Saturday afternoon. To get the goal was fantastic – as soon as I struck the ball, I knew it was going in and when it hit the back of the net I was over the moon. Unfortunately, it counted for nothing.”