STAYING at Braintree Town this season was an easy decision for young striker Alfie Cerulli.

The 18-year-old is a product of the Braintree Town Academy and after starting last season playing for Witham Town in Bostik League division north, broke into the Iron's senior side in spectacular fashion at the end of their Vanarama National League campaign.

He scored on his debut in a 2-0 win against Gateshead, before going on to make a further four appearances and add another goal in a 2-0 win against Dagenham & Redbridge as he showed a level of maturity beyond his years.

The Iron's season ended in relegation, the departure of manager Danny Searle and the subsequent appointment of Glen Driver as boss, but, despite all the changes, Cerulli was certain about where he wanted to be.

He was enthused by what Driver had to say and knows that he is a manager who is happy to give young players a chance to shine.

Cerulli said: “Glen has been really encouraging of me as a young player and I’m giving 110 per cent every time I’m out there.

“The hunger that I have got is the main reason why a young player like me may be favoured over someone with more experience.

“What Glen has done has been to encourage the young players and I’m so excited to get going.

“I’m getting fitter and getting my sharpness back and it’s a good bunch of boys that we have here.

“I’m just excited for the rest of pre-season now and for the start of the season.

“I loved it here last year, so it wasn’t a big decision to want to stay on.

“I scored two goals in the games I played in and the fans were brilliant; the general atmosphere was one that I loved being a part of.

“It was always going to be my first choice.

“I know I can develop here as a player.

“With Glen coming in and (assistant manager) Tony (Kinsella), they are people who play a style that very much suits my style of football.

“They want to get the ball down and play through the thirds and both of them are really encouraging of me.

“That’s exactly what I need as a young player and to push me forward."