OLLIE Kensdale hopes his Football League debut has shown Colchester United manager John McGreal that he can be a trusted part of the U’s boss’ plans.

The 18-year-old made his first-ever League Two start for Colchester in their 1-1 draw with Exeter City on Saturday and, with defensive injury concerns ongoing, is likely to head with them to Forest Green Rovers tomorrow night.

It was an excellent performance from the youngster among a strong collective team display and only an outstanding show from Exeter keeper Christy Pym denied them a three-point haul.

Kensdale, who made his full U’s debut two weeks ago in a Checkatrade Trophy tie at Cambridge, is now looking to build on an impressive first league start.

He knows club captain Luke Prosser will return from a one-match ban for the trip to Forest Green, but Kensdale hopes the way he stepped in for the league game will have given McGreal food for thought.

“It was a great feeling to get that first start in the league,” he said.

“I had the start against Cambridge but the league debut means everything.

“It’s a proper game with points at stake.

“We got the point and felt unlucky that we didn’t get all three but it’s a great one that has taken us up to third now.

“Hopefully I can push on myself now.

“I came into this season with a target of getting my debut but I’ve done that now and I have to see what else I can achieve now for the rest of the season.

“I’m definitely hoping that there’ll be more opportunities like this one for me this year.

“Pross (Luke Prosser) will be back for Tuesday after his suspension but you never know; hopefully I’ve put a thought into the manager’s head and he knows he can trust me now.”

McGreal said he wasn’t afraid to give young players their heads if he felt they were ready for action.

He added: “It was terrific from Ollie; the way he came in against Exeter for his first league start was like a duck to water.

“Potential is the word.

“We won’t get too carried away but I’m sure he’ll be really pleased about his performance.

“We’d spoken about it in the week and he was involved as we’d more or less said all the way that he was going to play.

“We could easily have dropped in Harry Pell, as he’s played at centre back at Cheltenham before, but I’ve proved before that if I feel they’re ready to come in and play, then I’ll play them.”