Carlisle United have chosen five young players to move onto the club’s under-18 two-year scholarship programme.
The five are midfielder Jake Allan, winger Aran Fitzpatrick, midfielder Sam Hetherington, forward Romeo Park and midfielder Robbie Swinburn.
Academy manager Simon Friel said: “As an academy it’s really pleasing to be able to offer these players a youth team scholarship for next season, and this is testament to the hard work and commitment they have put in over their time with us.
“There is a clear pathway for our academy players at this club which is something that is exciting for every player involved in their journey with us.
“Seeing previous academy players such as Taylor Charters, Lewis Bell and Sam Fishburn, to name a few, push on to be involved and play for the first team should inspire and motivate not only next year’s youth cohort, but all academy players to keep pushing themselves to be the best they can be.
“Personally I’m very proud of the players and look forward to seeing their progress within the under-18 programme.”
The five latest additions have been with Carlisle’s Under-16’s squad and Head of Youth Development Mark Birch said: “It’s a good turnaround out of the group and we’re pleased we’ve got so many through. It’s a pat on the back for the academy coaches who worked alongside them for the last seven or eight years.
“With us having the five from our own crop it leaves us with a few places to fill, and we tend to look outside the area at players released from Cat 1 clubs over in the north-east, or down towards Lancashire, and things like that.
“Obviously we’re looking for lads with good ability who we feel will have a chance of making it through.”
“What we’ve shown over the last few years is that there’s a clear pathway from our academy age groups to the scholarship programme,” he added.
“The proof in the pudding is that we have Taylor Charters and Josh Dixon who are involved with the first-team squad, Lewi Bell is on the fringes, and both of our second-year goalkeepers have spent time with the senior group.
“Sam Fishburn has started games regularly recently, and if you look further afield you see our players who have moved on, with the likes of Jarrad Branthwaite, Josh Galloway, Liam McCarron, James Trafford and Joe White.
“They’re all doing great things and at some part they’ve been part of our system. We want to continue with that and that’s why we’ll always bring the players through who we feel have the best chance of pushing on.
“Hopefully some of next year’s first-year recruits will be successful in achieving that dream as well.”