B&FC Footballer Scores A Contract

Published: Monday 1 February 2016

Blackpool teenager Josh Kay has kicked started his professional football career by signing a contract with Barnsley.

The 19-year-old midfielder has been snapped up by the League One side less than six months after joining the AFC Fylde Academy at Blackpool and The Fylde College.

He broke into the first team in December for an FA Trophy game against Warrington Town and unbeknown to him he was also being watched by Barnsley scouts, who invited him to trials in January.

After making a good impression, a delighted Josh was given an 18-month contract and will begin training with his new team mates straight away.

He said: “I was pretty pleased with my performance at the trials and the manager came down to watch, which I was told very rarely happens. Afterwards he told me I’d done well, which gave me a bit more confidence.

“Barnsley seems a well –run club and I’m really looking forward to getting started. My initial goal is to have a few first team appearances by the time I’m 20 and then ultimately to play in the Premier League.”

Josh started kicking a ball at the age of four for South Shore Youth. He also had a spell at YMCA and turned out for Squires Gate FC in the North West Counties League.

He joined the AFC Fylde Academy in September 2015 and feels it was the making of him:

“It really sharpened me up,” he said. “It’s the equivalent of playing full time football and I was being trained by the first team coaching staff which very few academies have. Facilities at the College are excellent – 4G pitches and a gym – plus lots of support. I don’t think I would have got this far without that quality.”

Brian Porter, Programme Leader at Blackpool and The Fylde College, commented

"Josh has worked incredibly hard to pursue his goal of becoming a footballer. It’s fantastic to see that already Academy students are fulfilling their goals .We wish him every success in the future and hope he doesn’t forget about us when he’s playing for England.”

David Challinor, manager of AFC Fylde, added:

“I am delighted for Josh. As a club and personally as a coach it's great reward for the time and effort we put in to see lads progress and develop, and hopefully others can follow his example.”

“It's great news for our academy programme and plain to see that we are providing a clear development pathway for young players. We have a good relationship with Barnsley, having sent two players there last season, and more and more football league clubs are present at all of our games as they know we are recruiting and developing good young players.”

The College is currently recruiting Academy players for September starts. Trials take place at B&FC's Bispham campus during February half term.

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