Callum Lang has been named as the EFL Young Player of the Month for December.
The 19-year-old was brought to the Globe Arena on loan from Wigan Athletic back in August, but it was over the festive period when the striker really announced his arrival in Lancashire.
Although used predominantly from the bench, Lang struck five goals in five December matches, helping the Shrimps pick up vital League Two wins against Yeovil Town and promotion-chasing Coventry City. His goal against the Sky Blues was his first in professional football.
Upon winning the award, Lang said: “I’ve looked at the names on the list and there are some great players who have won it, so it’s a real honour to get this award. It’s a huge confidence boost and a great feeling.
“I made my first start and scored my first goal, and then they all seemed to come at once. The gaffer gave me some minutes on the pitch, I just made sure I took that chance and put the ball in the net. The lads around me all picked it up performance-wise, particularly towards the end of the month. I was getting more chances in front of goal so credit must go to them as well.
“It was all so quick, I came off the bench and I think it was my first touch,” Lang added, recalling his effort against the Sky Blues. “I never score with my left foot either so that was a surprise, I just had a go and it went in. I didn’t really know what to do, I’d never really celebrated in front of a crowd before!”
Born on Merseyside, Lang spent his younger years with Liverpool Development but would not be rewarded with a contract, instead learning his trade in local football on a Saturday and Sunday. He was spotted playing for his school team at the age of 14 and, after a knock back from Bolton Wanderers, Wigan came calling.
Rejection can be tough to take for an aspiring professional, but Lang’s belief never wavered, and now he’s reaping the rewards. Making his way through the Club’s academy system, he appeared for the Latics in both the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy earlier this season, before dropping down a division to gain further first-team experience with the Shrimps.
“I didn’t get a contract [at Liverpool] but it helped me out massively, learning the technical side of the game at an early age. I went to play Saturday and Sunday league which I enjoyed, scoring a few goals. I went to Bolton on a six-week trial and didn’t get an offer, but I got a call from Wigan a few days later, they offered me a contract which I was very happy about and I’ve been there ever since.
“From an early age, getting told you’re not going to play there anymore, you’re not going to be offered a contract, it’s a hard one to take and it happened to me twice as a young lad. I was gutted but I just wanted to carry on playing football. It’s been good for me though, things don’t always work out but then you turn another page, and something’s worked out for me now.”