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Club News

Philliskirk Salutes Scholars

11 May 2019

Youth team Head Coach, Tony Philliskirk, has paid tribute to the teenagers who left the club this weekend to pursue careers elsewhere.

The club announced in March that only a small number of second year scholars would be offered extended terms at Turf Moor.

They include Bobby Thomas, who has been offered a first professional contract, and Will Harris and goalkeeper Kai Calderbank-Park, who become third year scholars. Vinnie Steels' deal also allows him to step up and join the U23s.

Others, including youth-teamers Michael Fowler, Oscar Woods, Kian Yari, Ethan Kershaw, Richard Taylor, Dan Moss, Terry Mupariwa and Dylon Meredith, will look to forge a pathway elsewhere.

And as they departed the Barnfield Training Centre for the final time, Philliskirk insisted they group were perfect role models for those who will look to follow in their footsteps.

“In many ways it was a sad day for me, said Philliskirk, who took over as Head Coach in December.

“It was the last day we saw the second years as a group. Naturally, some lads got what they wanted in terms of professional contracts.

"Michael Fowler got a contract at Fleetwood and Richard Taylor has secured one at Southend United, which is great.

“Some of the other lads have been offered scholarships in America, and others are going to University, or non-league clubs.

“But I would just like to say it’s been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work with that second year group.

Philliskirk team-talk.JPG

“They have been outstanding role models for the first year scholars, who now have to look to the older lads as characters who have conducted themselves impeccably on and off the pitch.

“They have had outstanding results at college, even some who are not educationally adept as others.

“Everything that has been asked of them, they have been first class.”

He added: “I have done this job for 20-odd years and only known these lads for four months, but as a collective they have to be one of the most positive groups I’ve encountered.

“Even on Friday, their last day, they came in training, despite being told many weeks ago that they wouldn’t be getting what they wanted, and trained like trojans.

“I would just like to put on record that it’s been an absolute pleasure working with the lads and they know we are here for them going forwards.”


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