Morecambe FC is pleased to announce two exciting new partnerships designed to help young players forge a career in professional football, as the Club's Academy setup continues to go from strength to strength.
These two new partnerships with both Football Futures, based in Manchester, and Cumbria Institute for Sport have been introduced to help players aged between 16-18 find their way back into full-time professional football who may have been lost in the system or dropped out altogether.
Headed up by ex-professional footballers Paul McGuire and Darren Edmondson, both Football Futures and Cumbria Institute for Sport will work alongside Morecambe FC Academy to help find and nurture young talent throughout Lancashire and Cumbria, who otherwise may have given up on a dream of making it as a professional footballer.
Speaking about this partnership, Paul McGuire from Football Futures said:
"I've been running college football programmes for over a decade now, with some great success both on and off the pitch, and I felt now was the right time to freshen things up.
"I myself came through this exact model in 1997 at the Manchester Hub, which was run by Alan Keeling and the then Morecambe Manager, Jim Harvey, and I personally went on to have several enjoyable seasons with the Academy and then with the senior team.
"With the introduction of our new Morecambe FC Football Futures site and working closely with our colleagues at the football club, I hope to do the same for many young players over the coming seasons, providing life skills, education, and a solid learning environment for all players to improve and enjoy their years as a youth player."
Darren Edmondson from Cumbria Institute of Sport said:
"We are looking forward to working with Stewart Drummond and all of the staff at Morecambe FC Academy on this exciting partnership.
"This programme will help support Morecambe with their late developer strategy, whilst also offering young players in the area the chance to play a good level of football and study for a BTEC qualification. I have a good working relationship with Stewart formed over many years and we will be working closely at all stages to offer training and game opportunities that will sit alongside study time."
Morecambe FC Academy Manager Stewart Drummond said:
"I am delighted to be working with both Paul and Darren on these two new football partnerships based in Manchester and Cumbria.
"We are always looking at ways to increase our reach into other areas, to enable us to see more players with the potential to progress into our football club. We have previously operated successful projects in Liverpool and Manchester, with the recruitment of Carlos Mendes Gomes and Lamine Jagne clear examples that players are out there who have the potential to make the step up to professional football, but currently sit outside the Academy system.
"In addition to our Academy age groups running from ages 9 to 18 signed to the Academy, partnerships such as this for 16-18s offer a pathway for late developers. With the creation of these two new centres as well as the long-standing college programme here at Lancaster and Morecambe College, we will have a wide variety of players based in different locations where we can track their progress."