Saints manager Steve Castle is considering handing hot prospect Jonathan O'Donnell his first start against Blue Square South leaders Newport County this weekend.

The talented 17-year-old midfielder scored for St Albans City's youth team last week in their win over Thurrock, when he was watched by scouts from Reading and Watford, and his three first-team performances from off the bench have made it difficult for Castle to leave him out on Saturday.

The City manager, who is desperate to tie O'Donnell down to a contract, believes central midfield is the former Watford and MK Dons youngster's best position but feels he could have a role to play on the left in the short term.

Castle said: "The sky's the limit. My suggestion, and I hope the chairman is listening to this, is put him on a contract. I love him to pieces. I did when I first saw him.

"I thought he was very unlucky, I know I'm making the decisions and this sounds very contradictory, but he was very unlucky not to start in the first team last week. He arguably should have been on at an earlier date but that's another matter.

"He's just pushed himself firmly into first team reckoning and I dare say into a few scouts' notebooks as well.

"He has always impressed me and when he plays in the youth team then he looks even more like the class act. It's been great for him and he's certainly pushing for the first team.

"He's not the biggest lad in the world but I don't doubt he can handle playing in the team. We've got a strong midfield but he could come in and initially do a job on the left side. Long term his natural position is in the centre of midfield."

Luke Thurlbourne is suspended for the match at Clarence Park and Gary Cohen remains a doubt with a niggling knee injury.

Newport have had a superb start to the season and are the only unbeaten side left in the division. Dean Holdsworth's side are certain to provide a severe test for the Saints but Castle insists his team have nothing to fear.

He said: "It's a tough game against the league leaders but there won't be any negative talk here. If we go for the win but end up with a draw, fine. But if we start looking for a draw then we'll only end up getting beaten. I still think anyone can beat any club at this level.

"We won't take them lightly and take nothing away from Newport but we have nothing to fear. It's just a game of football and hopefully we can be the better team on the day.

"It is no surprise they are strong because it is a well populated area and a place that is looking for league football. They have got a big budget and Dean has done very well since he has come in.

"In truth, I'm a bit surprised [at their recent improvement] because we played them last year and they were poor but they are a big club."

Saints City Trust was launched on Thursday night at Clarence Park and the first 66 members pledged nearly £3,000.

Club president Malcolm MacMillan said: "Supporters have shown a unique loyalty through thick and thin and a willingness to go the extra mile for the sake of the club.

"The Trust fully deserves a credible role in the running of the club; there is a big space for it at St Albans City and a big job to be done."

Castle added: "Things off the pitch are looking a bit better and if everyone is pulling in the right direction then we can do well for the club.

"The supporters have been fantastic for the club in putting on coaches and helping provide us with a new away kit.

"The majority of supporters have been very helpful towards us."