Imps Youngsters Told They Will Go

Last updated : 28 January 2002 By Jonathan Hall

Alan Buckley has reportedly revealed that he is unlikely to offer his current scholars professional contracts this summer. Buckley is reported as saying, “I would say it is very unlikely any of the current scholars will be getting professional contracts.”


Young goalkeeper, Darren Horrigan has been pin-pointed by the manager as the only player who is likely to stop on. “Apart from goalkeeper Darren Horrigan, I don't envisage any of them staying at the club”, confirmed Buckley.


The Imps boss is currently reviewing the club's youth structure, alongside his assistant and Director of Coaching, Keith Alexander. The comments come after City Chairman, Rob Bradley made his beliefs clear, that it is imperative for City's Youth Development programme to be revised thoroughly and to be radically improved/restructured.


"What we want is home-grown players coming through the ranks, but we need to make sure we have the right foundations first,” concluded Buckley.


Three members of the Academy Squad have briefly tasted first team action this season. Midfielders Chris McConville and Grant Pinkney have both figured when required to step in to fill gaps in a depleted midfield. (Lest we forget, Imps midfielders, John Finnigan, Justin Walker, Kingsley Black and Ian Hamilton have all been out injured for sometime this season.) Darren Horrigan has entered the first team frame when city's number two goalkeeper, Paul Pettinger has been sidelined.


Academy players such as defender, Gary Cochrane, and strikers – Daniel Bent, Adam Kerley and Richard Byrne have all held regular places in the Imps' reserve side. (Along with Horrigan, McConville and Pinkney). Midfielder Stephen Garfoot has also had a role to play.


For the record, Adam Kerley joined the Imps from Retford Utd in the Mid Lincs Youth League.  Several other Academy players have followed a similar path.


We are left to ponder how the Youth system will in fact be re-structured and if it will be any better than the current system. Plans are underway…