LIVING in the shadows of Elland Road, Jason St Juste would have every right to support his hometown club, Leeds United.

The 19-year-old's house, which he shares with his mum, dad, two brothers and a sister, is just a stone's throw away from the statue of Billy Bremner.

Yet St Juste's loyalties lie elsewhere. Given the mesmerising step-overs, sharp twists and bursting runs the teenager has displayed during his short Darlington career, it's perhaps less of a surprise that St Juste - whose surname is of French origin - models his style on his Arsenal heroes, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires.

However, it was before Henry and Pires wooed the North Bank that St Juste's football education began.

He was still at primary school when he enrolled at he Leeds-based Brazilian Soccer School, Futebol de Salao. Played with a heavier size two ball, the game emphasises on individual skill, before youngsters move on to conventional football.

It was following a trip to the South American country that former primary school teacher Simon Clifford decided to re-invent the system in England in 1997.

By 2003 over 200,000 children had joined the samba-style schools as Clifford's venture gained world-wide acclaim. And, arguably, St Juste is the star pupil to date. Other products of the school include Nick Riley (Celtic), Oliver Hotchkiss (Leeds) Sebastian Muddel (Norwich) and Micah Richards (Manchester City).

After six years St Juste made the graduation as a 16-year-old to Northern Counties East League side, Garforth Town - owned by Clifford.

After two seasons with Garforth, St Juste was recommended to Quakers by Clifford after a move to St Mirren failed to materialise earlier this season.

"Everything was set up for me to join the St Mirren Academy, but everything fell through when the youth-team coach left," revealed St Juste. "It was very disappointing at the time, but Simon then set something up with Darlington.

"They're a great bunch of lads here and they helped me settle in during my trial, which made it a lot easier."

And, after a successful trial, the winger signed his first professional forms, joining Quakers on a short-term deal.

"This is my first professional club and I'm loving every minute of it," said St Juste. "It's a big step up from playing at Garforth but I think I've adjusted quite well."

A slight understatement given the impact the teenager has made since joining Quakers in September. After two months finding his feet in reserve-team football, St Juste made his debut in the 2-0 win over Cheltenham in November, replacing Adrian Webster as an 81st minute substitute.

However, it wasn't until two months later that St Juste made his next appearance, making his full bow in the 3-1 home win over Macclesfield.

But just as Quakers fans warmed to the rookie winger, St Juste lost his place following the arrival of former Ipswich and Celtic winger Bobby Petta in February.

"If you're going to lose your place then you might as well do it to a player like Petta," admitted St Juste. "There are some great players here, but it's all about taking your chance."

A hamstring injury to Petta last month provided St Juste with another opportunity to stake his first-team claim - and that he has done.

The young Yorkshireman marked his return to the side with his first professional goal in the 1-0 win at Grimsby over a fortnight ago, becoming the first Brazilian Soccer School graduate to score in the Football League.

Despite the return to fitness of Petta, St Juste's performances have warranted an extended run in the team. The left wing-back scored his second career goal with a superb solo effort in the 3-3 draw at Bristol Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday.

And St Juste started his fourth consecutive game against Chester at the weekend, his pace and trickery providing one of the few highlights in an otherwise drab Quakers' display.

Clyde Wijnhard's 76th minute penalty was enough to take Quakers back into the play-off zone and St Juste admitted: "It was very hot out there which made it very difficult, but the lads worked hard and I think we deserved the win.

"We knew how important it was that we beat Chester after dropping points the week before."

Read more about the Quakers here.