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Youngster's sign on

16 November 2016

Academy recruit through the Midlands Junior Premier League programme

Shrewsbury Town’s Midlands Junior Premier League programme has shown its worth for the club once again with three members of the system registering with the full Academy set up.

Liam Brown, Adam Knott and Ryan Knott have been a part of the MJPL shadow squads for the past 18 months, and they have impressed enough earn their place at the club.

Kevin Speake - who runs Town’s MJPL set up - said that the signings should provide inspiration to young footballers across the country.

“These boys are a great example to all local footballers, it’s never too late to develop or get signed by a professional club if given the opportunity.”

“These three boys, who are all local and have played for local clubs, have been with the shadow squads for the last 18 months and demonstrated a great willingness to learn and commitment which has aided their rise to Academy football.”

Speake also explained just how the system works.

“The aim of the Shadow Academy Squads, who train at Lilleshall National Sports Centre and play competitive development based football in the MJPL on Saturday mornings, is to recruit and develop the most talented local players.

“A very close working relationship with the Academy has seen a number of players train with and play for several of our Academy sides already this year.”

Youth development phase coach Callum McKenzie offered his congratulations to the players and like Speake, he feels that the similarity between the shadow set up and the main Academy is reaping rewards.

He said: “They have been patient and worked extremely hard so thoroughly deserve this opportunity.

“Our MJPL programme mirrors our Academy programme in every way, from the technical programme to the way the players are given feedback and reviewed.

“Our coaches work extremely hard to ensure that if players are talented, work hard and have the correct attitude them they will be given an opportunity to achieve their potential.”

The rewards are reflected in the number of players to have signed with the main Academy, and McKenzie says that the aim is always to produce footballers who can go as far as possible in the game.

“That is now 21 players that have started within our MJPL setup who have gone on the register with our academy in the last two seasons.

“Our focus is about development and not results, our programme is in place to create academy footballers and players who may one day go on to play for our first team.”

Think you have what it takes? Get in touch with Callum McKenzie on cm.shrewsburytownfc@gmail.com

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