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D'Agostino reminder for Larry

MICHAEL D'Agostino could be playing his way into Simon Grayson's plans – 200 miles from Blackpool.

The 21-year-old winger has been grabbing the headlines after a string of storming displays for Cheltenham.

His loan spell runs out after the League One club's clash with Millwall tonight, and he's due to return to Bloomfield Road.

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But Pool are so delighted with D'Agostino's progress at Cheltenham that they are hoping to extend the youngster's stay at Whaddon Road into a third and final month – then bring him back to Blackpool and tell him to try to force his way into the first team.

D'Agostino came to Europe from Canada to have trials with several clubs, including Reggina and Messina in Italy and Leeds.

Pool invited him to train and play in a reserve match and quickly snapped him up on a one-year deal, with an option for a further 12 months.

He was sent on loan to get experience and has grabbed his chance, forcing his way into Cheltenham's starting 11 and helping them win their last four games.

Cheltenham fans have been raving about the speedy wideman and manager Simon Grayson – who has been alerted to D'Agostino's progress – went to watch him in Cheltenham's 1-0 win over Carlisle on Friday.

"He has done well since he's been out on loan and he had another good game when I saw him first hand for myself," admitted the manager.

"Cheltenham has gone on a nice little run recently which has coincided with Michael getting in the side.

"We've had him watched and the reports have been that he has done well.

"We were staying in Bristol overnight on Friday so I took the opportunity to go to Cheltenham and watch him in action.

"He whipped in several dangerous crosses and is capable of beating his man so it's good to see he is making progress - that's why we sent him out on loan, to get that experience he needs.

"He's still a young lad, new to English football and a little raw, but he can only benefit by playing in someone else's first team.

"Regardless of whether he comes back from Cheltenham today or we arrange an extra month, when he does arrive back we'll tell him that it's up to him to carry on his good form, show us what he can do and try and force his way into the side."

Vancouver-born D'Agostino played for Canada's under 20's side in the FIFA under 20 World Cup last year. He began to make a name for himself in football when he starred in the University of Kentucky team as a teenager.

During his youth and university years he played every position on the pitch except goalkeeper - but now he's an out and out right winger.

 
 
 

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