Eighteen-year-old Joe Nolan has signed his first professional contract with Blackburn Rovers after a successful trial period.
Nolan, who was named in LFE’s ‘The 11’ in March 2020, completed his apprenticeship at Preston North End, but was released at the end of the 2019-20 season and spent time at playing semi-professionally for Runcorn Linnets.
The young midfielder, who has penned an 18-month deal, spent the last month training with Rovers’ Under-23s side, getting on the scoresheet during a 5-3 victory over Derby County on his competitive debut at Under-23 level.
Nolan follows in the footsteps of fellow North End academy graduate Tyrhys Dolan, who joined Blackburn on a free transfer in the summer and has gone on to amass 17 Sky Bet Championship appearances, netting three times.
He told the club website: “It’s a very proud moment for me and my family. I’ve supported this club all my life, so it’s a dream come true to sign.
“I’ve been here a few weeks now and I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it. The lads have been so welcoming – the Under-23s and the first team – everyone has been class with me, so I just can’t wait to get started now.
“Scoring that goal against Derby, for my boyhood club, was a great moment for me and to come on for Dacky (Bradley Dack) as well in that game, it was a very proud moment.
“Seeing what Tyrhys has done here in such a short space of time gives me a lot of confidence. I’ve known Ty for a few years now, being at Preston together, so I’m really excited to get going and hopefully I can follow in his footsteps.
“The aim for me now, I’d like to try and help the Under-23s to win the league. We’re in a good position at the minute, so we want to win as many games as we can and I’d like to get as many starts as I can, hopefully create chances, get assists and score a few more goals.”