Not only have we watched the players in our academy grow as individuals and as a collective group, but we are delighted to have had several players go on trial at juvenil clubs in the region, who compete in the Spanish youth system.
FC Málaga City Under-19 head coach Sean Morris will be pleased with the progression he has witnessed and the players are reaping the rewards of working hard. Both on and off the pitch, the boys have shown they’ve fitted right into professional life here in Spain.
After impressing in the game against Estepona, three Under-19 players were invited to trial with the team, while two other players go to have a trial with División de Honor Juvenil side, CD Vázquez Cultural. American-native Nick Paige officially signed and made his debut for the club last weekend.
One other player went on trial with CD 26 de Febrero, another División de Honor Juvenil side with a fantastic pedigree and reputation for producing talented footballers in the region.
Morris admitted that the current climate has thrown up "different challenges" during the first few months of the season, but everyone at the academy has worked hard to ensure the continued progression of all of the players.
“It’s been a testing time,” Morris said. “There’s been a lot of different challenges, but we’ve worked very hard to make sure the boys’ training and work to progress has largely been uninterrupted, which we’ve done a good job of.
“Credit to all of the players, they’ve adapted really well. There’s been obstacles thrown their way and they’ve all moved with them really nicely, which makes our job a lot easier.
“We’re seeing a lot more progression in how they’re playing and that’s now leading to the reward of the number of trials that we’re getting, which is breaking into double digits already. That’s a fantastic sign for us, with multiple players signing.
“Nick Paige has just recently signed for Vázquez Cultural in the División de Honor, which is a massive opportunity for him, playing at the highest level of youth football in Spain. It’s a huge opportunity and we’re delighted for him and hopefully more are coming.
“We’ve got a number of División de Honor trials coming up for six or seven more boys, so it’s a really exciting time for us in that the opportunities are still coming even through all of the challenges.”
The Academy itself continues to push the boundaries when it comes to providing players a pathway to bigger things in the game. The proven track record of players going on to be invited to trial with teams and then sign for them is unprecedented.
Academy Manager Morris admitted the club are always “genuine and honest” when it comes to discussing the pathways FCMC can create.
Morris added: “We really try to be genuine and honest about the pathways that we create. We’ll never promise someone something that we cannot do, but we also think the numbers speak for themselves in that we’re consistently creating opportunities for not just one or two players a year, but we’re seeing double digits for players and beyond.
“Every single year, the number of players going on trials and number of players signing is a consistent process now, something that we’re getting better at all the time and trying to improve.
“We want to send players to higher levels all of the time. The División de Honor is a very realistic level for our players to be getting to. The quality of the players that we’re bringing in is higher, we’re developing them better and they’re getting to better opportunities faster.”