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Club News

Two further second-year scholars offered first professional contracts

29 April 2021

Scunthorpe United is delighted to announce a further two of our academy scholars have been offered professional contracts ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Midfielders Cameron Wilson and Dan Gallimore join Joey Dawson having already been offered a deal this season, while Harry Baker was offered his professional contract early, signing his deal in January 2020.

Three of the four players have progressed through the whole academy system, with 10 years of valuable coaching and progress for Baker, Dawson and Gallimore, who all joined the club at Under-8s level.

Wilson joined the club at Under-11s in 2013 from Goole Town Tigers, a local team in his hometown. He is an attacking player, predominantly playing as a central attacking midfielder or on the right wing. The 18-year-old has been a mainstay in the youth team this season, netting four goals along the way. That included back-to-back strikes in wins against Doncaster Rovers and Notts County, with the latter sealing a comeback from 3-0 down to win 4-3.

Gallimore is one of the youngest of the 2019-21 intake, signing for the club in May 2011. From Grimsby, the 18-year-old predominantly plays in the centre of midfield, although can be deployed in central defence, if required. Another regular for the side in the Youth Alliance over the course of the campaign, Gallimore notched two goals in the season - one in a 3-2 home win over Mansfield, while the other was in a 3-1 home win over Huddersfield Town.

Reacting to the news, Academy Manager Tony Daws explained: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer four out of the eight second-year boys professional contracts at the end of this season. Congratulations to the boys and a big well done to them on their development and progression, and we wish them good luck going forward. 

“It’s excellent news to have four players being offered professional terms from the same group. It continues to demonstrate that there is a pathway for players to progress through the system to be a professional footballer at Scunthorpe United and it motivates the academy staff and players of all age groups to continue their tremendous hard work.

“I would like to thank all of the staff that have worked with these boys at some stage, from our Under-9s coaches right the way through to the Under-18s coaches, and the first team staff that have also assisted in the player’s development. 

“Very importantly, we must recognise and say a big thank you to the Chairman and the Board of Directors for their fantastic commitment to our academy and for providing this life-time opportunity to these boys.”

The Iron can also announce Ben Crosher, Oliver Kemp, Patrick Virgo and Alex Wilkinson have been informed they will not be offered professional terms.

The club would like to place on record their thanks for the hard work of the four departing second-year scholars and wish them all the best for the future. 

Daws continued: “This time of the season is always difficult as we as a football club have to make decisions on our second-year scholars’ futures in professional football. Everyone involved in football is aware that not all boys make the difficult progression from schoolboy to youth, and then onto be a professional player.

“For us as coaches, it is a ‘bittersweet’ time; we have the joy and satisfaction of a job well done when a boy has developed well enough to be offered a professional contract. However, we also have the genuine disappointment and share in their sadness when a boy has to be released.

“As always, we have an exit strategy for the boys that are released as we offer advice and guidance in terms of getting trials at other clubs, the non-league pyramid, progression to universities in this country and advice on American education and football scholarship opportunities. 

“All of the boys leave their apprenticeship having completed a well-rounded education and personal development programme. This includes a BTEC in Sporting Excellence and Performance at level 3 which is the equivalent of two A-Levels. Some boys will have completed the advanced diploma which is the equivalent of three A-Levels. 

“The tutors at John Leggott College do a fantastic job ensuring that all of the boys attain the best grade possible, as most boys achieve distinction status. The boys also complete an NVQ as well as taking their first steps on the coaching ladder, qualifying as FA level 2 coaches. The boys have also undertaken a personal development and life-skills programme delivered in conjunction with the League Football Education. The LFE’s Life Skills programme aims to raise awareness and empower apprentices with knowledge and skills to deal with the demands of football and life.”

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