Hunt pays tribute to ‘immense’ O’Brien after Swaffham Town stun March Town United

Boss Paul Hunt has paid tribute to “immense” midfielder Will O’Brien after he helped Swaffham Town stun promotion-chasing March Town United on Saturday.

The Pedlars manager insisted O’Brien gave a “complete performance” during Swaffham’s 3-1 win at March - gained thanks to a brace from red-hot Alex Vincent and a goal from Jack Redhead.

Hunt believes the midfielder’s display shows how far he has progressed since starting to play Ridgeons League football little more than two years ago.

“Will was absolutely immense - he gave the complete performance and barely put a foot wrong,” said Hunt.

“He’s developed so much in the last year and a half and worked so hard to get to that level that I’m delighted for him. It’s been such a pleasure to watch him develop into a well-thought of senior footballer.

“When we first got Will in he had good feet but he cost us about 12 goals. He’d only played at a level where he could get the ball and run at people but he got worked out in senior football, lost the ball in places, and we got punished.

“He took the mistakes on the chin and always had the belief, and work ethic to go with it, that he would get better. He’s gone up five or six levels to play here so fair play to him.

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“He could have stayed as a big fish in a little pond in local football but he wasn’t afraid to mix it at a level where he was out of his comfort zone.”

Mid-table Swaffham’s win at fourth-placed March came on the back of a fine display during a 3-1 defeat at second-placed Whitton United.

The Pedlars are without a game this weekend, much to the annoyance of Hunt, but the Swaffham manager admits his young side are continuing to improve together.

Hunt said: “It was a well-deserved win. A lot of people thought we were perhaps going to struggle at March but we’ve come a long way since we lost 7-1 to Godmanchester.

“The performances have been getting better and we haven’t had the results we’ve deserved at times. I believe we can beat anyone on our day and the players are now starting to believe that too.

“March are a really good side - who were gracious in defeat - and the game was a coming of age for some as we’ve still got room for improvement.”