Festus Aurthur (2018–2020)

I became a Stockport County academy player in 2018 and eventually made it into the first team in 2019. However, I couldn’t have done it without Alan lord. He really helped me progress my game by mentoring and teaching me on and off the pitch. Stockport’s academy was a great platform for me to showcase my talent to the first team manager because he was always watching the academy players and he looked out for the young players. I would recommend any young talented player to join Stockport County FC academy, it helped me progress into first team football and from there a move to Hull City FC.

Jack Hopkins (2018–present)

I joined the academy in 2018 having previously played for the u16s development team. The academy has helped me improve as a player but also as a person throughout the 2 years. The best part about the academy is training 4 days a week whilst playing 1 or 2 games, there is a lot of football being played which can only help you develop technically and physically. The academy has offered me a lot of opportunities such as training and playing with the first team which is every player’s goal when they join an academy. Getting a professional contract was always the target for me from day 1, being a part of the first team squad gives me a chance to learn from the senior players and carry on improving. I made my full league debut this season against Chesterfield in the FA Cup.

Finlay Stanyer (2018–present)

I joined the academy at 16. I was playing Sunday league all my life until this point. The academy has helped me progress my football to the next level through the expert training provided by the coaches. They really helped me understand the game and what I needed to progress to the next level. The programme has given me exposure to a variety of experiences, playing against players at different ages and levels, it also gave me the opportunity to make strong friendships and bond as a team on away trips. It felt great to eventually get my pro contract. Being part of the first team allows me to see how the players train and play at this level and how they set high standards to remain at this level. It has given me the insight I needed to see where I need to get to be in the first team.

Max Greenhalgh (2018–present)

I joined the academy programme after missing out on a scholarship for Oldham Athletic. Before that I had come through the academy system at both Manchester City and Bury FC for several years. Joining this programme was great as it made me fall back in love with the sport. I made my debut in the Cheshire senior cup in my first year at age 16. This then led to several appearances and first team call ups in both league and cup games. Being offered a pro contract is something all young lads dream of getting and to be a part of the first team at a great club like Stockport County FC is a great experience and hopefully something that will last a lot longer.

Jack Hinchy (2019–present)

I joined the academy in September 2019 and have loved the opportunity it has given me since then. My previous club before Stockport was Blackburn Rovers FC. Training everyday has helped me to develop as a player, as it allows us to work on our game more than I have previously. I liked the fact that it was a full-time programme, playing football as well as having a plan B to fall back on (the education). It’s given me the opportunity to train with the first team and make a first team appearance in the Cheshire senior cup in my first year at the academy. It’s also given me the main goal of getting a professional contract, something which I have worked towards for many years. Training with the first team in the week gives me a real taste of what the step up is like to the men’s game, especially with the new facilities that County have now got at Carrington.

Adam Owen (2019–present)

I joined the academy after getting released by Oldham Athletic at the end of the U16’s season. County gave me the opportunity to join the 2-year course. What I liked about the course is that you are in full time football training at least 4 times a week whilst playing fixtures once or twice a week. You also completed your education at the same time. After 1 year on the programme I was offered a pro contract. I was over the moon and delighted with the offer. Being part of the first team squad and training with them every day is a great opportunity to both develop and learn. Because of this my game has certainly improved over the last few months and I have really enjoyed it.

Adam Le Fondre (2003–2007)

I will always be grateful for the opportunity I was given as a young player coming through the ranks at Stockport County FC school of excellence. The values I learnt such as discipline, dedication, self-belief, and positivity have been instrumental in the career I have had to date. I believe the knowledgeable coaching and nurturing environment were key reasons that enabled so many young players to break through to the first team at that time. At 17 I was a regular in the first team squad and didn’t look back. It’s great to see the club have invested in the future of the academy and recognised the value it brings.

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