Gaffer talks about the signing of first year scholar Ryan BarnettShrewsbury Town Manager Paul Hurst is pleased to have signed his first academy graduate as Town boss.
First year scholar Ryan Barnett has put pen to paper on his first professional deal by signing a two and a half year deal with the option of another year.
Hurst was quick to congratulate Ryan but believes that the hard work starts now.
“He’s been impressed since I’ve come in”, Paul told ShrewsWeb.
“I’ve watched him a few times, he’s trained with us and I think he certainly hasn’t looked out of place. I think the lads got ability.
“I felt like I had seen enough in him and he’s only a first year, so he’s got his pro contract early and that’s because of the potential he’s got.
“At the minute that is all it is in truth, but if he keeps his attitude right, works hard, then he will have a chance of making a career in the game.
“I think there was interest from higher up already in Ryan, so the club’s done well to keep hold of him and the next progression for him is to be training with us on a regular basis and really trying to push his way into my thoughts.
“He’s obviously been on the bench a few times and it would have been nice to have got him minutes at some point, but I’m sure that will come if he keeps working hard.”
Ryan is a midfield player and Paul has been impressed by what he has seen from the 17 year old.
“He’s a bright player and he handles the ball extremely well”, said Hurst.
“One of the exercises we do is the passing boxes and he’s very comfortable, doesn’t give it away too much and that is where he is good.
“He was playing wingback when I first watched him and it was clear that he did his better work going forward, but at the same time it won’t have hurt him in terms of understanding some defensive responsibilities, which for me everyone needs to have within the team.
“He can beat a player, he’s got good delivery and at Rochdale he set the goals up in the Youth Cup, so he’s got a lot about him.
“He’s fitted into training with us very well, but I want him to push himself more and we’ve already had that conversation. Don’t be happy just being part of the group, try and stand out and be the best and if he does that then straight away it gives me something to think about.
“Don’t just be content with getting this pro contract. Be proud, but he should hopefully be looking at it as just the start of a journey really. Push his way into the first team with us and hopefully go on and make many appearances for the club.”