BURY FC youth coach Andy Feeley has paid tribute to former Shaker Chris Armstrong after his inclusion in the England Under-21 squad for the Toulon Tournament in France next month.

The 19-year-old reluctantly left Gigg Lane in November to join Oldham Athletic as the cash-strapped club were forced to sell.

But his professionalism shone through and he has deservedly been rewarded for some fine displays for the Latics.

It is that single-mindedness, matched by his natural footballing ability, that Feeley believes is the key to Armstrong's success.

And the Shakers coach reckons there are plenty more diamonds in the Gigg Lane mine if, whoever takes control of the club, keeps the blossoming youth set-up together.

"I'm absolutely delighted for Chris. You could see from day one that he had the ability to go all the way," said Feeley, who oversaw Armstrong's development from the juniors through to the first team.

"Everything about him is spot on, he's a level-headed lad with a superb attitude there aren't too many left-footed players for England to call on so that will be in his favour."

Armstrong still lives in digs with the Shakers' youngsters and they are as delighted as anyone for their former teammate.

And Feeley believes the respect his peers have for him will give them the impetus to follow in his footsteps.

"We have two more super left backs coming through the ranks at the moment," added Feeley.

"Gary Evans has already made his first team debut while Tom Kennedy (son of former Bury favourite Keith) has the ability to go all the way, just like Chris.

"These are exciting times at Gigg Lane with 16-year-old Dave Nugent breaking into the first team and the likes of David Borley and Steve Gunby making their debuts this season."

It's justification that the youth set-up at the club has never been in better shape and it is to be hoped that whoever takes over the club in the next few weeks will be in a position to continue funding a vital source of talent.

England are in Group A of the prestigious tournament where they face Brazil, Portugal, Poland and China. They kick-off against China on May 6.