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Football: Nine Gap Connah's Quay academy players earn trials with professional clubs

NINE young footballers have been given the opportunity to impress at trials with top professional clubs – thanks to Gap Connah’s Quay hugely successful academy programme.

The youngsters, aged between 12 and 16, are a product of a system designed to help talented youngsters from Flintshire break into the world of full-time football.

And of the nine who have had trials, three have been taken on by pro clubs since the beginning of the season.

Nomads Under 14s skipper Alex Peters gained a place at League Two Bury while U12s player Luke Blizzard joined Wrexham.

Another U12s starlet, Tom Bridges, is setting his sights on the Premier League after he was snapped up by Premier League giants Liverpool.

Nomads academy director Jay Catton believes the success his youngsters have enjoyed is only the beginning.

“The aim of the academy is to provide lads who may not have had the chance otherwise to impress professional football clubs,” said Catton.

“We aim to get trials for as many lads as possible and we’ve got a great network of links.

“We not only have links with the big local clubs but clubs such as Bury, Accrington Stanley and Blackburn Rovers.”

As well as the three players who earned themselves contracts, there were a further six who managed to get trial experience.

U12s and U14s goalkeepers George Meredith and Callum Glover both earned the chance to impress at Premier League Everton while U12s players Thomas Ash and Aaron Dowsett went on trial at Blackburn and Crewe Alexandra respectively.

Joshua Atkin scored a trial at Lancashire club Accrington while fellow U16s ace Jamie Wynne had two trial periods at Wrexham and League Two promotion-contenders Shrewsbury Town.

The academy is also aiding the Nomads first team, with no less than four U16s players making the grade in the past 12 months.

Catton said: “Last year Kieran Farr and Joel Thomas both broke into the first team and played against Llanelli in the Welsh Premier League.

“This year we’ve had Josh Gannon and Sean Williams both appear for the first XI in the FAW Cup which bodes well for the future.”

Nomads’ academy sides are also enjoying success on the field, with both the U12s and U16s top of their respective leagues, while the U14s sit in third position.