New pro Adam Baker has been drafted into City’s plans tomorrow after wowing Phil Parkinson in the reserves.

The 18-year-old struck twice against Scunthorpe’s second string on Tuesday – and it has earned him an immediate promotion for the final away game of the season.

Two first-year scholars, centre forward Louie Swain and left winger Forrayah Bass, are also making the trip to Cheltenham for experience.

But for Baker, also named the club’s youth team player of the year this week, it is a genuine chance to gate-crash the squad against the Whaddon Road play-off chasers. He could be in line for a bench spot.

Parkinson said: “We’ve got a few injury doubts like Chris Dagnall but we’re not going down there with an experimental side. Adam has earned his place.

“After his performance in the reserves, he fully deserves to be in the squad. The other two have done well this season and they will benefit from the experience of training and travelling with us.

“They aren’t ready to play first-team football yet but it’s good to include them as a well done.

“It is important for the youth department and the centre of excellence to see we are concentrating on the youngsters within the system.

“They can see there is a pathway into the first team and players doing well will get that opportunity.

“Peter Horne, Steve Thornber and all the coaching staff have worked really hard with the younger players at the club and I want to show them that is appreciated.”

Baker was the only apprentice to be given a pro contract. Parkinson made it clear that he would only offer deals to youngsters he felt were capable of pushing for the senior squad next season. The fact that the striker has been called up at the first available opportunity shows that he is already making a favourable impression.

Parkinson added: “Adam has still got a lot to do but he’s a clever player and I see a real work ethic in him. You add that to natural ability and you’ve got a chance.

“He is level-headed and knows that there is a long way to go. I’m very conscious not to put him in there if he isn’t ready but he’s prepared to learn.

“And it’s good for the others to know that if you play well in the reserves then it can lead to an opportunity in the first team.

“I’m sure the fans will be excited.

“Adam is one of our own players and he’s been with the club since he was ten.”

Baker admitted it has been a special week.

He said: “As soon as I got told about the contract, I couldn’t stop smiling.

“All the hard work I have put in to it has finally paid off.

“It’s only the first step on the ladder but it’s a step closer.

“Now I’m training with the pros and there’s no big divide – I feel like I’m one of them now.”