TOMMY WRIGHT admits he knew he faced a battle to keep starlet Alex Penny at Nuneaton – after showcasing his talents at Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy.
The 20-year-old defender was one of a number of players to impress when Non-League’s top talents played in front of a number of League scouts during a series of training matches at Manchester City’s Etihad campus in May
And it wasn’t long before the EFL clubs came sniffing with Penny completing a move to League One Peterborough United last week.
Penny signed a three-year deal at London Road and becomes the third Nuneaton player to link up with The Posh, following Aaron Williams and Callum Chettle off the renowned production line in January 2016.
And Wright believes the club have unearthed another top Non-League recruit to follow in the footsteps of Aaron McLean, Lee Tomlin, Dwight Gayle and Conor Washington over the years – and blames the V9 Academy for uncovering his secret weapon!
“Alex is a quality footballer,” the Boro boss said of Penny, who also underwent a trial at Premier League West Brom.
“He ticks all the boxes when it comes to the modern-day player – he’s quick, athletic and someone who has much to give.
“You can see why so many clubs from higher levels were looking at him and we knew as soon as he got the call-up to the V9 Academy that it would be tough to keep him. We knew then that people would get to see what he was about.
“I am delighted for him that he has now got his move and I can see him making an immediate impact there.
“Lee Tucker at the V9 said Alex was one of the most exciting players they had at the Academy. He was one they had a lot of hope for and that is testament to the work we have put into his development here.”
Penny joins Dover striker Ricky Miller and Stockport winger Danny Lloyd at London Road this summer and heaped praise on Wright and his staff at Nuneaton for helping him make his dream move into the Football League.
The youngster told the club’s website: “I am so grateful for the belief and confidence that has been placed in me by the gaffer and staff here.
“I know that I am leaving the club in a very strong position and I am confident that they can go on to have a good season.
“There are so many special people here and I would like to say a big thank you to all of the supporters and staff and wish them all of the best for the future.
“I’m appreciative of everything that the club has done for me and I am over the moon with the opportunity that now stands before me.”