No Thistle fan needs reminding of just how important the Club view Youth Development. Last season there were visible signs of the hard work that has been done on that front.
It’s important though not to stand still and view the emergence of some young players into the first team as the job being completed.
With that in mind it was the Club’s very great pleasure this evening to welcome no fewer than 6 new players into the fold as they join the Club under the Modern Apprentice scheme.
The six new Jags, who join Mark Burbridge, Kieran Burns and Jordan McGrotty in becoming Modern Apprentices at Firhill, are as follows:
Jonathon Black - Forward
David Brown – Centre Back
Malcolm McLean – Midfield
Aaron Sekhon – Centre Back
James Wightman – Goalkeeper
David Wilson – Midfield
James and Aaron are pictured here with Head of Youth Development, Gerry Britton, just after they had signed their contracts.
Before the boys put pen to paper Gerry took the opportunity to address the boys and their parents and described Firhill as “a place where will get your opportunity”.
Gerry was joined at Firhill tonight by Assistant Manager Simon Donnelly, Head Youth and First Team Coach Ian Cameron, Club Captain Alan Archibald, Youth and Community Coach Barry McLelland and Youth Coach David McKay. All were on hand to answer any queries the boys or their parents may have had.
The bulk of the players will be starting a two year programme at the Club with the others completing the second year of the programme that they had begun elsewhere.
The Modern Apprentice Scheme is part funded by the SFA and in addition to their training schedule at the Club the young boys will spend at day at college studying towards their SVQ Level 3 qualification with the course they choose very much tailored towards where the individual’s own interests lie. Ian Cameron in particular was keen to stress the importance in gaining some qualifications.
The six players’ time at Firhill begins in earnest when pre-season training starts on June 25th and we naturally wish them well in what we hope will be long and successful careers with Partick Thistle.