One in and one out for Kinder
Youth boss Eric Kinder has taken another step towards completing his line up for next season by capturing the signature of highly-rated defender Cameron Dickson.
Dickson, who currently plays for Wallsend Boys Club in the north east, has put pen-to-paper on a two year scholarship which will bring him into the club as a first year YTS player in July.
“We've had Cameron in on trial and he has performed really well," Kinder told us.
“He's one I got to know about because he went on trial with Blackburn Rovers. Terry McPhillips was their youth team coach – he has since stepped up as first team assistant – and he gave me a ring to tell me that Cameron had really impressed people down there.
"They weren’t in a position to offer him anything, though, because they had two internationals ahead of him in his position."
“I trust Terry's judgement so we invited him up here," he continued. "He seems like a decent lad, with a strong character, and he is very good on the ball.
"He's one we wanted to keep so I offered him a two-year scholarship, and he has accepted. We think we’ve done well because we sent him away with the offer knowing that he still had to talk to Sheffield United and Birmingham City.
“Sheffield wanted him to go back after Christmas, for a second trial, but he turned that down because he wanted an answer right away. It then became a straight choice between us and Birmingham City and, like I say, we’re delighted that he chose us. I’m looking forward to working with him."
“He’ll carry on playing for Wallsend until the end of the season because they have been very good with us," he said. "We’ll see him again during the school half-term, where he'll train with us, and then we'll get him in full time for next year.
“That means we have Cameron, Jason Blackburn, Danny Hodgson, Connor Thomson and Connor Hammill sorted for next season, but we still have a few left to finalise.
"In terms of recruitment I’m really happy with the way things have gone. We're still only in January and we have identified and signed some good players. We still need four or five more, but it has made the job much easier.”
Meanwhile striker Greg Peel, who was with the youth team on a short-term contract, will not be staying at Brunton Park.
“Greg was given a short-term contract at the start of the season because we wanted to have a good look at him," Kinder told us.
“Unfortunately we don’t think he’ll go on to get the offer of a professional contract with us so we have had to let him go. He came here and gave it his best shot, so we can’t fault him for that. We wish him all the very best for whatever he goes on to do next.”