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First-year scholars welcomed

1 August 2023

The MFC Academy has welcomed its intake of first-year scholars ahead of the 2023/24 season.

In total, eight players have joined the Academy and have already hit the ground running in pre-season with the campaign's start just around the corner.

Alfie Scales 
Alfie Scales is a first scholar who originates from the North East, the 6ft 2-tall shot stopper joins us after his recent spell with Middlesbrough. 
Joe Sowerby
A Morecambe lad, Joe Sowerby has signed a scholarship after joining the academy at the age of 11. Joe is a left-footed, versatile defender who can play both centre back and left back.
Joe Lynchey
Originating from Bury, Joe joined the academy at the age 11. A versatile full back, Joe is renowned for his pace and power down the right-hand side of the pitch.
Callum Cooney
Callum, who joined the academy at 13, hails from Wigan The pacey winger is comfortable playing any position down the right-hand side.
Max Holden
Coming from St. Helens, Max began life within the Shrimps' Academy at the age of 13. A versatile winger, who can play anywhere across the front line, Max is known for his powerful play.
Adam Fairclough
A local talent who joined the programme during the U16s season before securing a scholarship soon after, Adam is a versatile winger who can play off the left or the right and is renowned for his goal contributions. 
Ellis Byron
Ellis, who comes from Morecambe, joined the academy at U12 level. Ellis is a versatile defender who can play either full back or centre half. Ellis is a technical footballer who enjoys being on the ball.
Jack Crane
Jack, a Holme boy, joined the academy at the age of 12. Jack is a technical midfielder who enjoys being on the ball. 
With the 2023/24 campaign just around the corner, Academy Manager Stewart Drummond speaks about what he believes is such an exciting stage of the season.

"This Saturday (5 August) sees the start of the football season for our U18s youth team as well as the first team, with the arrival of a new cohort of first-years which I would like to welcome to the football club," he said.

"As part of our continued strategy at the Academy, we are pleased to see six out of the eight new scholars come through our own Academy, with one late local addition in his U16s season in Adam Fairclough, and we signed goalkeeper Alfie Scales from Middlesborough to complete the cohort ready start two-year scholarships with us from 1 July.

"The full-time scholars have been in for pre-season since the beginning of July in preparation for the start of their season with an opening game away at Shrewsbury Town. It has been a busy schedule with a varied games programme, including trips to Crewe Alexandra, Hull City and Preston North End, alongside fixtures with senior sides Prescott Cables, Milnthorpe and Carnforth Rangers to give a good mixture of opponents and types of games.

"It's always an exciting time of the season as we see how the new first years settle in and fit in with current second years. There have been some very encouraging performances during pre-season, so hopes are raised for a successful season for the youth team; in terms of performances, results and the progression of players into our first team squad or onto other clubs. Once the season is underway, we will start to look at what each player needs to continue their development, which could include loan moves out to senior sides for experience and to help prepare them for what a first team environment looks like.

"It is a big change in life for the full-time youth team players, many moving away from home into our house parents as they embark on the first few steps towards being professional footballers. It is well-documented how difficult a pathway it is to get to and stay in for a sustained period, but as I have always said, it is the best job in the world for those who can do it. Keeping that dream alive for all Academy players, whilst preparing them for whatever else they need or end up doing in life, is what being in an Academy is all about.

"Good luck to all our Academy players and those signed across the country as we head into the new season."

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