Carlisle United Football Club are delighted to announce that Academy second year Liam McCarron will today sign an 18-month deal [with a one-year option] that keeps him at the club until at least the summer of 2020.
Preston-born McCarron, 18 in March, moved up to the Appleby area when he was four years old and, having played local football, was snapped up by the United academy to join the under-14 age group.
Having earned a place as a scholar, and now into his second year, he was called up to the first team bench for the Checkatrade Trophy group game against Morecambe earlier this month where he replaced Ashley Nadesan to play the final ten minutes of the game.
He made his senior league debut a fortnight later when he played out injury time of the home game against Tranmere, coming on for striker Richie Bennett.
The club’s director of football David Holdsworth said: “Liam has shown his potential and John [Sheridan] has seen that, and has involved him in the first team environment because of it.
“We’re trying to create a pathway at the club for the youngsters of Cumbria and for our younger players going forward. That’s going to be part of our DNA and something we’re looking to develop even further in the future.”
Academy boss Darren Edmondson said: “We’re all delighted for Liam because it’s testament to the work he’s done over the last 12-months that this has happened for him.
“It says to the fans that the club are still trying to produce their own. Our history is steeped in players coming through and either going on to bigger and better things, or having a career here.
“There are enough players who have stayed for four, five or even ten years, and almost become cult heroes. That’s what clubs at this level need to do. If you aren’t going to sell young players for loads of money, then make them stay and be part of it for as many years as possible. Hopefully Liam is another step towards that becoming the norm.”
Speaking about his first professional deal, the young winger told us: “Being honest, it was all a massive shock. I was asked to come to the club for a meeting and it was then that I was told they were going to offer me a contract.
“My head was all over the place, and it still is now, but it’s fantastic that it’s happened. With the way things have been going I thought I would maybe get onto the bench around Christmas time, or something like that. It’s come early and it’s been a great experience.
“When I started training with the first team and I was getting into the squad, I did think that this could be my time. I knew it was putting me in with a good shout of getting a contract at the end of the season, but I didn’t think it was going to happen this quickly.
“I’m just over the moon that it has, but I know the hard work starts now. It’s up to me to take the chance I’ve been given and to make sure I do things properly so that I can get more minutes on the pitch, which is what it’s all about.”
We’ll have more reaction to this news on the official website over the coming weekend.
Keep an eye on the tunnel area ahead of kick off [approximately 2.40pm] as Liam McCarron signs his first professional contract.