THE football statisticians of Morecambe FC, the npower League Two club, have confirmed that a 16-year-old player from Maghull has become the youngest-ever to be picked for the first team squad.
Aaron McGowan, who signed for the club in July, got a call from manager Jim Bentley – another Liverpudlian – to say that instead of being with the reserves he was in the first team squad travelling to York City for the League Two fixture.
“I was at college when the Gaffer rang,” McGowan said.
“He said that he had been watching me play in the reserves and how hard I had been working, and that I had earned a place on the bench.
“I was made up.
“At Morecambe the youth and reserve teams work a lot with the first team, so I know them quite well and didn’t feel uncomfortable.
“The coach trip only took about an hour-and-a-half and we won 4-1.
“Unfortunately I didn’t come off the bench to play, but it will be invaluable experience for the future.”
The selection continues something of a remarkable rise through the ranks by the ex-Maricourt RC High School full-back, who has made something of a different entry into the professional ranks.
Most youngsters attend football academies or centres of excellence before signing scholarship forms. This is not the case with McGowan.
It is only a few months ago that the teenager was skipper of the Merseyside Schools side, and a season before that representing Sefton in district competitions.
He also played for Maricourt in the 2010 ECHO Cup final against De La Salle at Goodison Park.
He continued: “I went on a trial twice at Morecambe and they offered me a scholarship. This involves training and studying for the equivalent of three A-levels.
“However, before I could start with the club, I played for the GB Catholic Schools’ side in Malta where we won a silver medal by beating France on penalties.
“This meant I missed a fair bit of pre-season and I moved into my new digs late.
“I started in the youth team, but now I play a lot in the reserves. I am getting a lot of help from the gaffer and the staff. It is a great club.”