Festus Aurthur: 2018–2020
Festus became a Stockport County Football Education player in 2018 and made it into the first team in 2019. The mentoring from former Academy Manager Alan Lord and current Academy Manager Damien Allen really helped him progress his game by teaching him both on and off the pitch. Festus’s development at County is an example to any young player on why they should join the Football Education. The skills he learnt here helped him progress into first team football and from there a move to Hull City FC.
Jack Hinchy: 2019-2021
Jack joined the Football Education in September 2019 and the opportunities he has been given since then have been a testament to himself and the FE. Before joining the FE, Jack was at Blackburn Rovers FC. Training everyday has helped him to develop as a player, as it allows him to work on his game more than he had previously. Jack enjoyed the fact that it is a full-time programme, playing football as well as having a plan B to fall back on (the education). It’s given him the opportunity to train with the first team and make first team appearances in the Cheshire Senior cup during his first year at the FE. Training with the first team during the week has also given Jack 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. In addition to that, Jack’s development was such that he made his FA Cup debut against Premier League outfit West Ham United FC in which he really impressed, resulting in swapping shirts at the end of the game with England international Declan Rice. In the summer of 2021, Jack signed for Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion FC. Jack’s move to the Premier League side is a great example of what can be achieved with hard work at the FE.
Scott Holding: 2020 – 2022
Scott joined the FE in 2020 and the development he has shown since then has been incredible. During his second year at the FE, the progression Scott has made as a player and a person has led to the great opportunities afforded to him. Scott was one of the first names on the team sheet during our 2021/22 FA Youth Cup run, captaining the team throughout. Following his great form for the FE, Scott was selected by first team manager Dave Challinor to train with the first team, as County continues its long-standing tradition of bringing through young players. His performances in training have led to Scott making his debut for the first team in the Cheshire Senior Cup, and in a league fixture as well. Scott continued to train with the first team full time, while still educating with the FE. Upon the end of the FE year, Scott was signed by Championship side Watford where he has gone on to continue his development.
Cody Johnson: 2021 – Present
Cody joined the FE in 2021 and is one of the most exciting young talents at the club. Cody has just completed his first year with the FE and has already hit several milestones. He was a key member of the FE team during the FA Youth Cup run, starting in every game, and scoring at Edgeley Park under the lights in front of the supporters during the 3-1 victory against Hyde United. For such a young age, Cody has shown great composure on the ball and reads the game fantastically from his position. Stockport Town Manager Paul Turnbull has recognised this, and has called up Cody to his squad, becoming their youngest squad member. Cody has held down a regular starting spot within the Stockport Town starting eleven, which is a credit to a 16-year-old player, playing men’s football. His performances for both the FE and Stockport Town have caught the eye of the first team manager Dave Challinor. Cody was called up to first team training full time and continued to educate with the FE. Cody made his first team debut within the Cheshire Cup, starting and starring against Cheshunt FC, earning himself the Man of the Match award at just 16 years old. Cody has now signed his first full time professional contract with the club and is now with the first team full time.