Burnley’s Shay McCartan has enjoyed a weekend to remember.
On Saturday the 18-year-old forward hit a second half goal to give the Club’s U18 side a much needed three points in the race for the North West Youth Alliance Conference.
That goal a long range strike that just crept in gave Burnley a 14th straight league win came less than 24 hours after he had been on the bench for the first-team’s 2-1 win over Brighton on Good Friday.
And how Terry Pashley would have loved to have been able to call on his talismanic front-man when the Claret’s U18’s lined up against bottom side Morecambe yesterday with a chance to go above local rivals Preston North End.
Instead McCartan was one of a trio of regular youth-teamers travelling to take on Doncaster Rovers in a Championship fixture at the Keepmoat. And while his youth colleagues were struggling to find a way through a dogged Shrimps defence at Gawthorpe (the game ending 1-1), McCartan climbed off the bench as an 89th minute substitute to make his debut for Eddie Howe’s first-team.
While those connected with the youth team were rueful of a missed opportunity to top the Youth Alliance (the result leaves Burnley one point behind Preston with a game in hand), everyone was equally delighted to see McCartan make his bow at senior level.
“So happy for my man @shaymccartan making his debut today,” tweeted youth team full-back Luke Conlan.
McCartan himself added: “Thanks everyone for the messages, the fans were class, it was a great feeling making my debut, hopefully many more appearances to come #UTC”