Second year decisions see four players make it throughCarlisle United have today offered one-year development contracts to second years Morgan Bacon [goalkeeper], Jack Egan [attacking midfielder], Jordan Holt [midfielder] and Cameron Salkeld [attacking midfielder] on completion of their two-year scholarship spell with the club.
Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens said: “Our Academy has seen a number of positive changes over the past year and these contract offers are another stage of the progressive development of the under-18 set up that we are trying to achieve.
“Along with that, Darren Edmondson has joined us as Academy Manager and we have reconfigured a number of coaching roles to bring a more solid structure to the work we do. We are also in the midst of creating a Head of Coaching position to help us to further improve the quality of the sessions we deliver to all age groups.”
“We feel it’s important for the club’s long-term success and stability that we provide a pathway which enables us to develop home grown players and start to bridge the gap between youth and first team football,” he continued. “As we have seen in the recent past, there is nothing better than watching one of our own break through to make regular first team appearances. It brings a real sense of pride to both the club and its fans for us all to have played a part in the process.
“As a club we have a lot of catching up to do, but it’s important that we get the foundations in place and get the process moving so that we can begin to create an environment where our young players know they have a path to follow, if they achieve the necessary standards. On our part it requires investment and a little bit of risk taking, but it is absolutely the right thing to do.”
Rule changes to be implemented by the EFL going forward are designed to incentivise member clubs to focus on youth development with additional revenue, such as Checkatrade Trophy prize money, also set to be earmarked specifically for the development of younger players.
One such rule change in place for the start of season 2018/19 will see clubs who don’t or can’t feature home grown and developed players in their match day squad potentially penalised, with their substitute allocation reduced to six players.
Mr Clibbens said: “The EFL and its clubs have been looking for ways to improve both youth coaching and youth player development for a number of years and we see it is a key area, and something we want to get right.
“The offer of these contracts is a first step to putting a framework in place whereby we will hopefully start to see our better younger players come through and progress year on year.”
Meanwhile second year striker Max Brown has had a decision on his contract deferred following a cruciate ligament injury picked up in March.
Fellow second years Joe Breen, Rhys Groves and Kieran Hall have been released as their two-year spell with the club comes to an end.
“It goes without saying that we wish the players who are moving on every success,” Clibbens commented. “They have worked extremely hard and we know they have all taken a lot from their time with us. I’m sure that the grounding they’ve had at Carlisle United will stand them in very good stead for whatever it is they choose to do next.”