Academy Manager reflects on decision to offer Cam Gregory a pro deal
Shrewsbury Town Academy Manager Eric Ramsay has admitted that yesterday’s decision day for scholars was a difficult one, but believes that the future is bright.
Cameron Gregory was offered his first professional deal and he joins Ryan Barnett and Christos Shelis as players to be given pro deals from that age group.
However, a number of players were let go yesterday and Ramsay admitted that those conversations weren’t easy.
“I think arguably they are some of the hardest conversations you will have in football because it’s not as if you’re telling a seasoned pro he’s not getting another contract and he can go elsewhere, you’re really impacting on young people’s futures, so it was a difficult day yesterday”, said Eric.
“Cam is the silver lining, but the others have been good performers for us this year and I think none of the staff would be surprised if any of them popped up playing professionally somewhere in the future, so it’s definitely not the end of the road for them and I hope that I made that clear.”
Cameron Gregory has been a near ever-present for the Youth Team this season and Eric has been impressed with his development.
“I’m really really pleased for Cam”, Ramsay said.
“I think he’s shown a great deal of improvement over the course of the last year and he’s certainly on the right trajectory.
“He’s got a really long way to go before playing first-team football regular regularly, especially as a goalkeeper because goalkeepers don’t tend to be playing regularly until they are 23, 24, 25.
“But, the future’s bright and I was really pleased to be able to give him that news yesterday, and I hope that this is the platform for him to go and kick-on.”
Gregory’s deal means that eight scholars have now been offered pro deals in the last two seasons and Ramsay is excited to see how this year’s bunch get on.
“I think they are often forgotten about because Ryan’s was wrapped up so early last year and Christos has really been an ever-present in the first-team group this year, although he has played for the youth team”, said Eric.
“I think all three of those players have got real potential. It is a feather in the Academies cap that three more have got through this year, but ultimately the success of that is based on whether any of those break into the first-team and play regularly, so I think this is the first step on a pretty tall ladder between leaving the Academy and being a proper professional, and playing regularly.”