Morecambe FC’s youngsters to have their day in the spotlight on Saturday

Morecambe's U18s scholars at Tarn Hows in the Lake District during their pre-season
Morecambe's U18s scholars at Tarn Hows in the Lake District during their pre-season

Morecambe will be using Saturday’s home game against Northampton Town for their annual ‘Academy Day’.

The event celebrates the work of the Shrimps’ youth department with the club operating a category three academy.

That means around 150 players in age groups from U7 to U18 are regularly training and representing the club.

The youth set-up has seen a number of players progress to professional contracts in recent years, the latest being young defender Ibrahim Bakare, who put pen to paper in July.

He joins academy graduates Tyler Brownsword and Kyle Hawley in Jim Bentley’s squad.

The youth system has also introduced Carlos Mendes Gomes and Lamin Jagne, who have already made their mark in the first team.

Products of the Shrimps academy are also plying their trade at clubs around the country, including Leif Davis at Championship side Leeds United and Aaron McGowan of Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Premiership.

The club’s head of youth Stewart Drummond is keen to develop the pathway from youth set-up to first team and has clear aims on the type of talent he wants to see progress.

He said: “One of my aims has always been to get more local players out on the pitch for the first team.

“At the moment the majority of our U18s scholars are from outside the area, but as you look towards the younger age groups like the U14s/15s, there are more local players coming through.

“So in the next two or three years we should see more local lads progress to scholarships and hopefully the first team.”

As part of Academy Day, the club is inviting players and their families to experience match day at Globe Arena on Saturday.

Drummond added: “Academy Day gives Morecambe Football Club the opportunity to recognise the contribution of players and their families.

“Our young boys will be presented on the pitch at half-time, for supporters to show their appreciation.

“I think it’s important to show supporters how the academy has grown and acknowledge the contributions of academy parents, coaches and players.

“It should be a good day and hopefully we’ll have a win to celebrate too.”