By Sandy Beeson: Northampton Town starlet Scott Pollock took his tally to 15 goals for the season on Saturday as he led the Cobblers’ Under-18 side to a 3-2 win against Barnet Under-18s.
It’s been a quick rise for the first-year apprentice, but being thrust into the limelight is something he’s more than used to.
The 17-year-old won a popular YouTube series to join Hashtag United, led by club founder Spencer Owen, last year and went on to produce a man-of-the-match display at Wembley stadium, playing in front over 30,000 fans against the likes of Steven Gerrard, David James and Emile Heskey.
But it was only last month that Pollock was finally signed as an apprentice at his boyhood club Northampton, having initially been enrolled on the club’s Football and Education Programme.
His performances for the programme’s team gave him a good grounding and a platform that he has kicked on from, joining the Under-18s and play a starring role for the EFL Youth Alliance South East leaders.
“He was with the club’s Football & Education programme in friendly matches and that gave him an excellent grounding,” Brady told LFE. “He had a good end to the season and then we brought him in as a full-time scholar.
“Like all young players, he took a little of time to adjust but his experiences with the Football & Education programme helped him. He found the tempo tough to start with but he worked hard and I could see the composure and technical ability was good. We worked with him on his game understanding and that has really developed.”
The talented midfielder worked hard to adapt to the change and now finds himself the fulcrum of a team that has accumulated more wins than any other team across all four regional EFL Youth Alliance divisions this season, scoring half of the team’s goal tally.
“Something’s just clicked with him where he’s taken on board the pace of the game,” said Brady. “His anticipation levels are fantastic and that’s what makes the difference. He reads things in midfield so quickly and then his composure when he’s on the ball is brilliant.
“He looks to play forward, make key passes and he can finish as well, so he’s a goalscoring midfielder. That’s 15 goals now, it’s frightening. You’re talking about the likes of Frank Lampard at a lower league level.”
Pollock’s impressive form did not go unnoticed by the Cobblers first-team set-up as he was awarded a place on the bench for a Sky Bet League Two away fixture at Mansfield Town in September – the first player from the club’s Football & Education programme to be named in the first-team squad – and Brady says the challenge now is to keep progressing.
He said: “Scott has had a great start to the season, as the team has, but the trick now is to keep going and find that level of consistency month after month. The great thing for Scott is that he is at the club he supports and he is part of an Academy that is really flourishing at the moment.
“He is an excellent example of the player pathway at the club working and how players can progress. We are delighted with his progress but he knows this has to be just the start.”