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YOUTH: Cumbrian youngsters sign scholarship forms

Darren Edmondson on Josh Galloway and Tom Wilson

16 November 2017

With the current season still in full-flow academy boss Darren Edmondson has already started to plan ahead as he begins the process of recruiting the next batch of first years for the 2018/19 campaign.

And he was pleased to capture the signatures of Cumbrian lads Josh Galloway and Tom Wilson ahead of the FA Youth Cup game at Brunton Park on Monday night with the pair highly thought of within the academy structure.

“From discussions we’ve had as academy staff, and from watching them both last season, they are two of the more consistent performers in the under-16 team," Edmondson said. “Tom Wilson has matured very quickly physically, which is a good sign. 

"We hope there's still more to come from him, but he's already a really good specimen. Tom has been with us from the under-11 level and he's a central defender. He has really good composure and he's very clever.

"He’s good with the ball at his feet and he listens to instructions well. There's obviously work to do, but from a defender’s point of view I’m quite excited by him.

"It will be great to work with him for two years to see if we can improve one or two things even further."

Tom Wilson

“Josh Galloway can play wide or with a central striker," he explained. "He's such a good footballer and he plays the game with his head up. He can use both feet and he can go past people as well.

"He needs to work on making sure he's in games for the full 90 minutes, and I want him to be influencing things more than he is at the moment, because when he has the ball at his feet he is extremely effective. He has the ability to become a focal point for the team, so that's what I want to see from him."

“If people recognise his surname it's because his dad is Mick, who used to play for the club," he confirmed. "Mick is obviously buzzing that his son has signed for us as well.

"I’ve had a lot of conversations with his dad, because he watches Josh whenever he can, and I have to say that he was a very good footballer himself.

"There's definitely something in Josh’s genes - let’s just hope he stays a lot slimmer than his dad did and has a bigger appetite for work than he ever did as well!" 

Josh Galloway

With both lads being local, and products of the club's youth system, there was praise to be had for the staff who have brought them through the age groups over the years.

“They're both local lads and that's something which is very important to the club," Edmondson told us. "It's also something myself and Gav [Skelton] are passionate about.

"We want to find and bring through the best in the area, if at all possible, but we can't just do that for the sake of it. They’ve got to have the right ability level otherwise you end up taking local lads just because they're local.

"I don't seem my job as being about that, because then you're getting into the realms of signing young lads just to keep people happy. Our job is about either making money for the football club or producing players who can perform, or both. 

"If those players happen to be Cumbrian then great. However, and as we've seen across the years, we've brought non-Cumbrians through who have done really well for us. That's why we have to keep our web as wide as it can be and make sure we capture anything that the bigger clubs let go."

"The other thing with these two is that they've had interest from elsewhere," he confirmed. "Despite that they've chosen to stay with us, which is fantastic. They know that opportunities to play first team football will be key to their development and it’s important for us to have that pathway.

"We’ve seen lots of players leave at 13 or 14 to go to Premier League clubs, but ultimately they might not play first team games. Sometimes I think sticking with your home town club, even though it is lower down the football pyramid, can actually be better for your long-term development." 


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