Chairman Colin Gordon on Milan Butterfield, Harry Higginson and more…
By Matty Paddock - 13/02/2019
Posted 8 months ago
COLIN Gordon has hailed the fantastic work being done within the club’s Academy system to produce more homegrown talent for the team.
News emerged on Wednesday that Milan Butterfield had signed a professional contract with the club, running until 2020.
That came not long after Harry Higginson inked similar terms, making it two Academy graduates in the space of ten days or so to join the first-team camp on a permanent basis.
Whether it be the club’s Foundation Degree courses or various options at Further Education level, Harriers offer a wealth of opportunities for youngsters to combine football with academic study.
The Chairman was quick to pay tribute to those helping this happen, too. He hailed U19 Academy Manager, Mark Muddyman as one of the best in the country, and heralded the progress made by U23s Scott Mason.
Speaking to the club’s Soundcloud channel about the news of the two newest recruits to the first team, he commented: “It’s a great sign.
“We see this as a massive plus for everything that we’re doing with our education system.
“People are starting to see that it is succeeding and that’s down to the recruitment being done by the likes of Adam Crowle and Mark Muddyman who are exceptional.
“We are going to be working very hard to make sure that this isn’t a one off…” Colin Gordon
“Scott Mason has been absolutely with the U23s group this season and, for someone who has done pretty much every job at the club, he’s developing into one of the best coaches I’ve seen work.
“I think, in the past, this model has just been about numbers and bums on seats and it wasn’t about whether you went on to be a top player or not.
“Now, we are genuinely looking for top talent and our trials are bursting at the seams.”
Higginson is, proudly and undoubtedly, a Harrier through-and-through as a local lad.
Bermudan-born Butterfield, however, is one of a number of players to bring an international flavour to the Academy in recent years – with the likes of Shane and Darragh Lowth performing fantastically in the U23s this season.
It’s clear, then, that the club’s reach is only expanding further and further afield.
Colin went on to say: “We have the two lads over from Ireland who have been involved and have lads in from America and Bermuda, so it isn’t just talent that’s been discarded from Albion, Villa and Walsall – we’re looking around the world now, and we want to give the opportunity.
“We want this to be a first stop for all these kids thinking ‘hang on, I’ve got a chance here.’
“Success stories like Harry and Milan provide the opportunity for others to think ‘if they can do it, so can I.’
“We see this as a massive plus for everything that we’re doing…” Colin Gordon
“We are going to be working very hard to make sure that this isn’t a one off, and that it’s the norm.”
Aside from it all, though, there’s the underlying truth that all of us in football thrive on the basic qualities like desire and commitment – not least fans.
Colin is more than happy that this latest duo, in particular, have those qualities in abundance.
“Harry is someone that you know who would run through brick walls for the club,” he added. “I think Milan has proved the same.
“That’s the kind of commitment you want, and they’re absolutely desperate to succeed.”