BEING a possible National League record breaker is not something that fazes Braintree Town's latest young debutant Shane Temple.

After coming on for his first senior appearance towards the end of the 4-2 defeat by Bromley last weekend at the age of just 16 years and two months, the club believe that Temple may be the youngest-ever player to make their debut in the National League.

Barnet's Martyn Box - who appeared aged 16 years and nine months - is thought to be the previous youngest and if Temple does indeed hold the record now, then it will be a notable feather in the cap for both him and Braintree.

It wasn't just a token appearance either as, after being called up by manager Danny Searle from Braintree Town Youth's Eastern Junior Alliance (EJA) under-16 side, he came on as a second-half substitute and provided the assist for Mo Sagaf's late wonder goal against Bromley.

Temple, who is from Wickford and is a year 11 pupil at school in Billericay, said: "Danny Searle had brought me in for training on the Thursday with Kieran (Smith) and said that one of us would definitely get a chance in the game on the Saturday.

“I knew the longer that the game went on the more likely it was that I’d get on.

“When he called my name the nerves were there but I felt it went OK.

“It was good – I was obviously a bit nervous about coming on but once I was on it was alright.

“I felt good about it.

“It’s been said to me about possibly being the youngest National League player and it’s quite a privilege knowing that could be the case but I’m just looking forward and seeing what the next few games could bring."

Temple is now hoping that he can keep impressing Searle and feature more for the first team before the end of the season and beyond.

He added: “Danny hasn’t said too much but he has just encouraged us to do our thing.

“That’s what he’s said in training and it’s the same in games.

“Hopefully now I can go on and get more minutes and go on to achieve bigger things.

“I’ve come from the under-16s side in the EJA (Eastern Junior Alliance) and I was also in the under-15s with Braintree Town Youth.

“I’m from Wickford but I’ve played my football in this area with Braintree and also in Chelmsford.

“Hopefully now I can just get more minutes for the Braintree first team and we’ll see what next season brings."

Searle, meanwhile, was impressed with how the youngster handled his big appearance and felt the way that he set up Sagaf for Braintree's second goal was a glimpse into the potential he had seen himself.

He added: “If there were any positives to take from the Bromley game it was Shame coming on.

“He only turned 16 in January and we think he’s the youngest player in National League history to make his debut and he got an assist for the second goal to make it even better.

“He has come across from one of our EJA sides after we had a chat with one of managers and Kieran Smith has come in as well.

“We asked them to come in and train with us and do you know what, they deserve an opportunity sometimes.

“There will be people who will look at it and think ‘what’s he putting a 16 year old on the pitch for?’

“Well, the assist and the goal.

“He’s got that in his locker and he can build on that.

“At the end of the day we have to build a squad for next season that has to be competitive regardless of what league we are in and we have to make sure we have that conveyor belt of players coming through.

“We want it to bring local talent as well as talent from around the area and we have to give them an opportunity to perform.

“It all comes down to opportunity."