Swiss success aids Daprela

Fabio Daprela is biding his time at the Boleyn Ground knowing that he has to be ready to take his first-team chance when it arrives.

The promising 18-year-old defender was back on the bench at the weekend in the 3-3 draw at Hull City after a hugely successful international break. Daprela played in all three games as Switzerland Under-19s won a tournament involving Greece, France and Poland and has returned ready to push on from the experience. He may get another chance to shine on Tuesday night for the reserves against Stoke City at Bishop's Stortford.

Daprela's good progress has caught the attention of Gianfranco Zola and the left-back is only too happy to follow his manager's advice. "He has asked me whether I play with the reserves or the first team that I must work hard. I have to follow the older players and learn from them. I am very happy and it was great to be on the bench at Hull."

In that recent international outing, Daprela played in all three games and most notably stole the show with a wonder goal in a 3-1 defeat of Greece, who like the Swiss will be playing in the Elite round next spring of the 2010 UEFA European U19 Championship. For a left-back, Daprela showed plenty of attacking intent to score.

"I had the ball in midfield and just kept going," said the versatile performer, who can also play at centre-back. "I beat the first player, then the second and then third. Then I found myself up against the keeper but I carried on and managed to score the goal. It was the first goal for my country so I was very happy with that. Everyone back in Switzerland was very happy.

He was more content with the fact his team performed so well and has high hopes of matching his UEFA finals experience at U17 and U19 level in the previous two summers. "It was a good tournament. We were strong but so were the other teams, especially France. They were a good team but we drew against them and it was enough to win the tournament."