Young hopefuls sign up

Reporter: Park Life: TONY BUGBY
Date published: 19 May 2009

ATHLETIC have completed the signing of nine youngsters who will begin two-year scholarships at Boundary Park.

The players will be aspiring to emulate Ryan Brooke, the 17-year-old trainee who made his debut and scored Athletic’s match-winning goal at Walsall on the final day of the season.

Athletic have a marvellous record of producing their own players and, of the 16 involved at Walsall, seven came through the junior ranks.

Here are the new arrivals:

Matthew David Carr - The midfielder/defender was a member of the Greater Manchester under-16 squad which won the national championship last month, defeating Essex in the final at the New Den. The Bury-based Carr has been at the centre of excellence for three years.

Matthew Andrew Carr - No relation to the above, the Bolton-born player only joined the centre of excellence from Mosley Common juniors in November and has successfully made the step up, despite his lack of experience at a professional club.

Leeroy Chinthengah - The striker is another member of the triumphant Greater Manchester under-16 squad and has attracted the attention of a number of Premier League clubs.

Andrew Crompton - Manchester-based midfield player who can also play off the front man. He is regarded as one of the best passers in the youth ranks.

Connor Hughes - A second player recruited recently from Mosley Common and another who has successfully made the transition. He can play wide left or right.

Greg Kidd - The Harrogate-born left-back joined Athletic from Bradford City in January and has proved to be an excellent find. His long throw is a great weapon.

Kirk Millar - A forward from Belfast, Kirk played for Linfield in the Irish Premier League this season at the age of 16. He has represented Northern Ireland under-18 schools.

Shaun Routledge - A goalkeeper who was a late addition to the ranks, only joining Athletic at Easter following a successful trial. He represented Cumbria under-16s this season.

James Tarkowski - The defender has done well to secure a scholarship bearing in mind he broke his leg earlier this season. He is another member of the Greater Manchester under-16s championship-winning side.