Five youth players featured in first-team action for the first time on Saturday as pre-season got off to a winning start.

Adrian Akande and Jayden Wareham netted for Ruben Selles' side in a 2-0 win over Watford, with two teams being given 45 minutes each in the first friendly.

The likes of Lewis Wing, Harvey Knibbs and Femi Azeez all gained valuable minutes in the tank, alongside five teenagers who are still awaiting an official first-team debut.

Take a look below at the five youngsters given an opportunity to impress in Hertfordshire.

Ashqar Ahmed

16-year-old Ahmed replaced Kelvin Abrefa at half-time as club captain Andy Yiadom missed out on the match.

Having only featured seven times for Mikele Leigertwood's Under-18s squad, Ahmed remains a relative unknown among supporters.

However, he has sat on the bench for Selles' first-team on one occasion, an unused substitute in the 5-2 win over Arsenal Under-21 in the EFL Trophy.

Abraham Kanu

19-year-old Kanu continued his development with 45 minutes for Selles' first team, and it felt like only a matter of time.

Winning Academy Player of the Year back in 2022, the defender made 37 appearances for the Under-18s last campaign and was given a first opportunity for Noel Hunt's Under-21sΒ 

Starting against the Hornets, replaced by Tyler Bindon at half-time, Kanu could see more action for 2024/25.

John Ryan

20-year-old left-back Ryan has become a regular for Hunt's Under-21s, featuring in each of the play-off fixtures for the PL2, but is yet to get the nod for the first-team.

The closest the Irishman has come to a debut was in April when he made the bench for a 2-2 draw with Barnsley, but the defender remained unused.

With Clinton Mola off to Bristol Rovers and Jeriel Dorsett not a natural left-back, Ryan could see action this season.

Adrian Akande

Tipped by many to be the breakout star for the coming season, Akande signed his first professional contract last week.

The 20-year-old picked up six goals and seven assists in 17 PL2 appearances for Hunt's Under-21s, as well as starring in the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup-winning campaign.

An electric winger willing to take his man on, Akande made the most of his pre-season cameo by netting the opening goal.

Andre Garcia

Little is known about Under-18s midfielder Garcia, but the youngster managed an assist in 11 appearances for Leigertwood's side.

Replacing Azeez at half-time, the wideman lasted 35 minutes before making way for Basil Tuma.