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Ramsay on first-team involvement

18 October 2017

Academy Manager delighted that Academy players are being given a chance in the first team

Shrewsbury Town’s Academy Manager Eric Ramsay is delighted that four Academy players have received first-team call-ups in recent weeks.

Christos Shelis, Ryan Barnett, Cameron Gregory and Lifumpa Mwandwe were all involved in the squad for Town’s Checkatrade Trophy game with West Brom Under-21s.

Barnett and Mwandwe both came off the bench and Eric was pleased for them to make their professional debuts.

“It was really pleasing”, Ramsay told ShrewsWeb.

“For the individuals involved it’s testament for the performances they have put in so far this season. There have been moments in the course of every game where, in particular, Fumpa and Barney have stood out and caught the eye, not only of our staff, but the opposition staff as well.

“So, it was really pleasing to see that Paul has recognised that and he has rewarded them with some minutes at a competitive level for the first team. And, for them to have coped as well as they did was really pleasing.”

Dean Henderson’s international call-ups have given a chance for Cameron Gregory to be on the bench and Ramsay believes it’s a good experience for him.

“It’s really good for the Academy that Paul and his staff have shown faith in someone like Cam in what could have been an immensely difficult situation had he had to step foot on the pitch”, Eric said.

“Cam is someone who trains regularly with the first-team, so he knows the environment, but he’s yet to play a game, so I’m sure that would have been a really testing occasion for him.

“He’s someone who’s been good in the youth team this year and he’s had some really pleasing moments, so it’s good to see he’s got some recognition too.”

Meanwhile, Eric praised Christos Shelis who signed his first professional deal with the club a couple of weeks ago.

“I think he deserves it almost more than most”, said Ramsay.

“He went through a really frustrating time last season where he couldn’t play because of international clearance and I saw first-hand what a really good pro he is in the sense that that didn’t deter him and he trained really professionally every day.

“He’s really deserving of that deal because he can be standout at youth team level and as character he’s brilliant. He’s a really good example to our guys and I think he’s got a really big future at the club.”

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