Former scholar Lewis Edgar is now thriving as an U9 assistant coach in the academy set-up after being let go as a scholar.
After joining the Morecambe FC Academy at the age of 12, Edgar progressed through the ranks before being offered a two-year scholarship at the age of 16.
At the end of those two years, Edgar was one of the names to be released from the academy, a sad reality that many young promising footballers face every year.
Despite the setback, he was provided with an exciting opportunity by lead professional development phase coach Darren Finch.
“It was one of my last days at the club and my coach at the time said to me, just as I was leaving, that if I ever wanted to get into coaching, they’d love to keep me around,” said Edgar.
“It’s very important to have a plan B because if you’re only focussing on football and it doesn’t work out, you could become stuck, I got lucky enough to be offered a coaching role within the club.”
Finch, who worked with Burnley FC in the Community before taking up his role within the Shrimps’ academy, believes Edgar has been rewarded for his attitude displayed throughout his time as a scholar.
“He did really well for two years off the pitch with me, good attitude, it’s a shame for his injuries, and I just felt that, because the lad [Edgar] had put so much into it, that he deserves a chance to still be involved in football at a pro club,” Finch explained.
“Within the two-year programme, they do the FA Level Two, an FA coaching badge so straight away, I thought in Lewis’ situation, he has the credentials there.
“We had a chat about it, it’s something he looked forward to doing so I got in touch with Ollie Ras, the foundation lead, and it’s just escalated from there.”
Ras has been involved with the academy set up for four years, and he firmly believes that the experience and talent Edgar has will strongly benefit future youngsters coming through the ranks.
“I think it’s really important,” Ras said.
“Lewis knows what it takes to get to that scholar level, he came in as a young 12-year-old looking to start his footballing journey, so he really knows what it takes to get that scholarship at 16.
“Most kids are visual learners and to be able to have someone of Lewis’ ability level in the building to showcase what he can do as a young footballer, it can only work in the club’s favour with the little ones.”