Tuesday was a proud night for Northampton Town Football Club and our player pathway with no fewer than twelve of the 17 man matchday squad for the Papa John’s Trophy tie with Brighton & Hove Albion under 21s current or former members of the club’s Academy or Football & Education programme.
That number may have been even greater had Max Dyche not missed the game through illness, but included in the number who did play on Tuesday was Josh Tomlinson, who at the age of just 15 years and 336 days became the youngest player to ever appear for the club.
Tuesday’s appearances mean that we have, so far this season, now seen 28 first team appearances from current or former Academy or Football & Education programme players in the first team with around a third of the season gone, huge progress from where the figures were just a few seasons ago.
The average age of Tuesday’s starting XI was just 20, and that reduced further to 19 when you considered the average age of the seventeen man squad. It should also be pointed out that average age of the side that started the League 2 match against Carlisle United last Saturday was just 24.8, with no player over the age of 30. Jon Guthrie is the oldest at just 29.
INTRODUCING THE ACADEMY PLAYERS WHO WERE IN THE SQUAD ON TUESDAY NIGHT
Charlie is a 17 year old goalkeeper who is a current youth team player. Charlie was born in May 2004 and has been the substitute keeper for the first team on a number of occasions.
Josh is a 15 year old centre back, and became the youngest player ever to play for the club on Tuesday night beating the record held by Ivan Toney. Josh, born in December 2005, was just 15 years and 336 days old on Tuesday.
Peter is a 17 year old central midfield player for the youth team who was born in February 2004.
Josh is an 18 year old defender who is a first year professional.
Liam is an 18 year old midfielder, he is a first year professional who made his first team debut away at Sunderland at the end of last season.
Miguel is a 17 year old youth team left sided midfield player, born in June 2004.
Courtney is the youth team left back and is 17 years old, having been born in March 2004.
Dylan is a 17 year old central midfielder, born in April 2004.
An 18 year old striker, Jack was born in September 2003.
Kenny is a 17 year old striker for the youth team, born in September 2004.
17 years old, Tommy is a striker for the youth team who was born in December 2003.