Former Apprentices Head to Belgium

By: Elaine Brand |
03/09/12 |
Mark Sloan

Mark Sloan

Former Carlisle United Apprentice Mark Sloan is one of four former Apprentice players at Football League Clubs to head out to Belgium this week in a bid to kick-start his career.

The 19-year-old midfielder was released by the Cumbrians just over 12 months ago and has more recently been turning out for Workington in the Blue Square North.

The others are ex Oldham and Morecambe keeper Shaun Routledge, striker Robbie Maggs, previously of Bristol Rovers and central defender Zach Farr who left Northampton Town this summer.

Sloan had impressed for Workington during pre-season and was a starter in the Reds opening three fixtures before being omitted from the squad which lost 2-0 to unbeaten league leaders Guiseley last week.

The youngster insisted that he didn’t deserve to be dropped for the clash with Guiseley and said Darren Edmondson’s decision to omit him from the Reds squad convinced him that his future lay away from Borough Park.

“A decision had to be made quickly because of the signing deadline,” Sloan told the News and Star.

“I weighed up all my options but couldn’t say no, despite how well I was doing with Workington. Being left out of the squad for Guiseley made my mind up.”

“Everything became clear to me because I didn’t deserve to be dropped. I didn’t agree with the decision to leave me out and to have the Wolfsdonk offer waiting made it a no- brainer.”

Shaun Routledge, Robbie Maggs & Zach Farr

Shaun Routledge, Robbie Maggs & Zach Farr

Sloan left the country on Wednesday to join Wolfsdonk Sport, who play in the 2B Brabant league, division two of tier eight in Belgium football. He signed a 12-month deal with the team that is based between Brussels and Antwerp, with the option to extend his stint.

“I want to play full-time football, and moving to Belgium makes that possible. It goes without saying that I thank Darren and Tony Elliott for their efforts, and wish Workington the very best of luck for the season.”

Sloan and his three compatriots will all now look to emulate the success of Ipswich Town’s Paul Taylor. Taylor ignited his football career when he moved to Royal Racing Montegnee from England going on to play for Anderlecht and Peterborough Utd before his more recent move to Ipswich Town for a fee thought to be in the region on £1.75m.