Morecambe youngster Aaron McGowan received a welcome interruption to his college lessons recently when he took a call from manager Jim Bentley – to tell him that instead of being with the reserves he had named him in the first-team squad travelling to York City for a League Two fixture.
“I was at college when the Gaffer rang,” said McGowan. “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.”
“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.”
His inclusion in Bentley’s squad continues a whirlwind few months for the youngster, who missed most of pre-season because he was representing the Great Britain Catholic Schools’ side in the FISEC games in Malta.
“I went on a trial twice at Morecambe and they offered me an apprenticeship which combines training and studying for the equivalent of three A-levels,” continued McGowan.
“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.”
First year Apprentice McGowan who is keen to continue his development as a player also pinpoints a couple of other highlights from his first 6 months at the Lancashire club.
“I am an attacking right-back and when the youth team played Accrington Stanley I scored, with a cross/shot in a 5-1 win.”
“I also played for the reserves against Manchester United and they had a strong team out. I marked Bebe, who they paid £7million for. He is a good player and he did score, but only after he switched wings. I thought I played well.”
The young defender is clearly highly thought of at the Globe Arena. Dickie Danson, Morecambe FC’s Head of Youth addded: “He is preparing well and he is very mature for his age.”
“He may have a bright future ahead. The boss has seen how hard he works and gave him the experience of being part of the first team squad. He is improving all the time.”