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Graduates

Stuart Bannigan

Stuart Bannigan first appeared in the Partick Thistle reserve side in early 2009, prior to joining the club as a full time Modern Apprentice in the summer of the same year. He spent two seasons being developed through the Club Academy before signing a full time deal in 2011.

After impressing in the pre-season build up to the 2010/11 campaign Stuart was handed his debut, at just 18 years old in a Challenge Cup tie against Clyde. His sample of first team football made him determined to continue his development. He was sent on loan to Ayr United for the second half of the season and helped the Honest Men win promotion to the First Division via the playoffs.

Upon his return to Firhill he started to establish himself in the first team squad and during the second half of the 2011/12 season, he made a number of appearances, scoring his first Thistle goal on the final day of the campaign.

Stuart played a key part in Thistle’s promotion from the First Division in 2013, and took to Premiership life quickly, becoming the heart of the Jags midfield as Thistle looked to secure their Ladbrokes Premiership survival.

His quality was also been recognised by the Scotland Under 21 set up as he was first selected for a match against Greece in early 2013, the first of three caps he would earn at that level.

Banzo picked up a serious knee injury in March 2016 which would see him miss the end of the 2015/16 season and the entire 16/17 term. He returned for 12 games in mid 2017 but would once again see his season ended early in September of that year.

He continued to work hard in recovering from his injury and came back again in September 2018 with more success this time. He played 31 games in the 18/19 season, earning himself the captain’s armband and performing as a stand out in the Thistle engine room.

Liam Lindsay

Liam had a Thistle footballing tradition in his family with his uncle, Ricky Gillies, playing for the side during the 2005/06 season.

The strong central defender started his Thistle journey in early 2012, featuring for the reserve side on a number of occasions before putting pen to paper on a two year full-time trainee contract later that year.

A consistent run in the reserve side during the 2012/13 campaign was rewarded with his first team debut on the last day of the title winning season, where he kept a clean sheet against Dumbarton.

A solitary appearance in each of Thistle’s first two Premiership campaigns followed for Liam with the emphasis placed on his continued development through two half-seasons worth of loan spells at Alloa Athletic and Airdrieonians getting Liam used to first team football.

During pre-season in 2015, the gauntlet was laid down for Liam to prove himself as a first team regular, a challenge which he grabbed with both hands. He started Thistle’s opening game against Hamilton, keeping another clean sheet despite the side being down to ten men for over an hour of the game. It was a season of learning for Liam as he continued to improve and develop from mistakes to establish himself in the Jags defence.

The 2016/17 season was outstanding for Liam as he became the natural leader in the Jags defence. As he grew into one of the best central defenders in Scottish football, he also added an attacking threat to his game netting seven times during the course of the campaign. His personal form saw him become the only player, outwith Celtic and Aberdeen to make the PFA Scotland Team of the Year.

In the summer of 2017, Liam moved to Barnsley where he has now played 90 times.

During the 18/19 season, Liam helped Barnsley to automatic promotion from the EFL League One featuring in 41 league games on the way before making the move to fellow Championship side, Stoke City.

Andrew McCarthy

 

Andrew became the seventh academy graduate to make his first team debut, when he appeared as a late substitute during a Scottish cup fourth round tie against Formartine United in January 2017.

The midfielder had been with the academy for several years after joining from local club Rossvale FC. He initially played as a wide player before moving into a central midfield role midway through his first season of U17 football.

Andrew became a full time apprentice in the summer of 2015, having appeared for Scott MacKenzie’s development squad during the latter half of the 2014/15 campaign, but suffered a back injury and was sidelined for several months.  On his return, he performed well for the development squad which resulted in more involvement with the first team.

In season 2016/17 he became more involved with the first steam squad while still playing in the Development League before going on to become a regular fixture in the Jags’ matchday squad during the second half of the 2016/17 campaign.

Andy would go on to make 37 appearances for Partick Thistle before leaving the Club in May 2019.

Neil McLaughlin

Neil was the first Thistle Weir Youth Academy graduate to make his debut for the first team, when he appeared as a substitute on the final day of the 2014/15 season aged only 16.

Neil advanced through the academy and first featured in the development squad while still playing at Under 17 level. Neil, who can play in a number of attacking positions, became a full time apprentice while still playing at under 17 level.

During the 2016/17 season, he developed into a lethal attacker for Scott MacKenzie’s development squad netting 20 competitive goals with seven Development League games remaining.

Neil’s competitive first team debut against Motherwell in May 2015 made him the youngest known Partick Thistle player to play in the top-flight but also presented him with an obscure piece of sporting history. He became the first player to play in the Premiership, who wasn’t born the last time Scotland qualified for an international tournament.

Neil left Maryhill in 2018 to join Fir Park side, Motherwell, where he spent a year before leaving the Steelman in May 2019 to join Edusport Academy.

Kevin Nisbet

Kevin progressed through the pathway to become a full time apprentice in the summer of 2014 and was later the second academy graduate to make his first team debut – away to Ross County in the Scottish Premiership on 19th September 2015.

Kevin came to the club shortly after the creation of the Thistle Weir Youth Academy. His natural goalscoring ability was evident throughout his time in the academy and this continued into his first season as a full time apprentice.

A loan spell with East Stirlingshire in the second half of the 2014/15 season helped Kevin to progress as a player when he made 11 appearances, scoring six goals during his time with the League Two side.

Kevin spent the first half of the 2016/17 season on loan at Ayr United before returning to Firhill to play a part in the Thistle squad for the remainder of the season. He also spent a short time at Dumbarton in 2018 where h failed to make an impact.

The forward swapped Firhill for Fife in the summer of 2018 as he joined Raith Rovers and Nisbet has shown his quality since joining the Starks Park side. He scored 34 goals in 46 games in League One during the 18/19 term as the Rovers fell short of promotion at the final hurdle; in the play-off final against Queen of the South.

He joined Dunfermline Athletic before the beginning of the 19/20 campaign.

James Penrice

The left back was the third academy graduate to make his first team debut at the end of the 2015/16 season aged 17.  He made his senior debut in a 3-3 draw at Tannadice against Dundee United and made his home debut on the last day of the season against Hamilton Academical winning the man of the match award.

James progressed well with the academy U17 squad before being offered a full-time apprenticeship at the start of the 2015-16 season. His development continued with the U20 squad and he ended his first season as an apprentice with two first team appearances to his name.

Season 2016/17 brought another new experience for James with a loan spell at East Fife before he enjoyed another loan spell the following season with hometown side, Livingston.

Penners became a key player in the Thistle side to start the 2018/19 season in what proved to be a breakthrough season for the defender. In fact, James played every single minute of the season, becoming the first player to achieve that feat since 2006.

Ryan Scully

Goalkeeper Ryan progressed through the ranks from youth level to first team squad member at Partick Thistle. Ryan spent two seasons with the Club Academy prior to signing on full time.

Scully is the youngest known Partick Thistle player to be named on a teamsheet when he was listed as substitute goalkeeper for a fixture against Ross County in November 2008, just 27 days after he turned 16.

Ryan made his first team debut for Thistle on the final day of the 2010/11 season and kept a clean sheet as Thistle defeated Raith Rovers 3-0.

The 2012-2013 season saw Scott Fox in outstanding form with Ryan only able to manage one start and a solitary substitute appearance. He did, however, gain valuable game time while on loan at Albion Rovers in the second half of the season.

First team experience was vital for the custodian and he spent two seasons on loan with Dunfermline Athletic, playing nearly every game during his two years in Fife.

When he returned to Firhill for the 2015/16 campaign, he had to play understudy to Tomas Cerny, but when injury struck the Czech goalkeeper, Ryan seized his chance to grab the gloves as he made 10 competitive appearances during the season.

In September 2016, another injury to Tomas Cerny gave Ryan the opportunity to make the jersey his own again and the 24 year old produced a number of fine performances in goal. A dislocated shoulder injury sustained in late October put him on the sidelines for four months before, as he made his way back to training, a broken foot ended his campaign.

The ‘stopper ended a decade-long stay in Maryhill in 2018 as he left in search of more regular football, signing a deal with Morton ahead of the 18/19 season.

After losing his place in the Ton team to Derek Gaston, he joined Dunfermline Athletic where he’d previously been on loan. He finished the season with 14 appearances for the Pars.

Aidan Fitzpatrick

Aidan Fitzpatrick is a young prospect who has been touted for big things from the moment he joined the Thistle Weir Youth Academy and the winger is now delivering on the hype in the first team.

After impressing as part of the Jags’ under 17s squad, Aidan was given the chance to work as part of the first team during pre-season in the summer of 2018 and he did so well that he was handed his professional debut just three games into the 18/19 campaign.

The number 21 came on as a second half substitute in a Betfred Cup tie against Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill and within 12 minutes of his arrival, he had his goal in senior football calmly slotting home after bringing down a long ball from Tam O’Ware.

As his rookie season went on, he continued to impress the Thistle faithful with his remarkable pace and incredible dribbling skill.

He finished the 18/19 campaign having played 30 times and scored seven goals including a dramatic late winner against Dundee United in the Ladbrokes Championship.

In July 2019, Fitzpatrick joined English Premier League side, Norwich City, for an undisclosed fee.

Callum Wilson

Callum made his first Development League appearance in April 2015, aged only 15, in a fixture against Motherwell.

In his first season as a modern apprentice, Wilson started in flying form, adding a valuable streak of energy to the Development Squad’s midfield which instantly cemented him as a key part of the team.

He was rewarded for his hard work during his two years as a modern apprentice with a one-year professional contract and has gone on to make his competitive first team debut in a league win against Falkirk.

In February 2019, Wilson moved to Elgin City on loan with the goal of gaining more first team experience in Ladbrokes League Two. He went on to make ten appearances for the Borough Briggs side in four months as a City player.

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