U19s midfielder on his debut, Academy journey, brother and more…
By Luke Thompson - 11/12/2019
Posted 2 years ago
Academy U19s Dennis Digie midfielder expressed his “amazing and undescribable” feelings following his first team debut against Guiseley on Tuesday night.
The youngster came off the bench in the second half with Harriers 2-1 ahead at Nethermoor Park, fighting their way back from a 1-0 deficit thanks to goals from Ashley Chambers and Sam Austin.
Following an important win for Harriers and Jimmy Shan’s first since stepping into the Aggborough dugout as Interim Manager, Digie was delighted to be given an opportunity and, most importantly, help the team to vicory.
The 18-year-old has been involved in first team training for a number of months, as well as being one of countless players to be included in first team squads over recent years.
“Honestly, I’m delighted and I just wanted to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am including all of the Academy coaches, every single one of the staff – I’m grateful,” said Digie.
“The lads were 2-1 up at the time and they had done well to get to that point, and I just wanted to help secure it, luckily we were able to do that!
“Being on the bench, I have to prepare in a certain way and I made sure that I was ready for this situation as I prepare the same every time.
“At the end of the day, it was three points on the line and that’s the most important thing, but it was a pleasure to be a part of it”.
With Declan Weeks struggling with an injury, the Harriers management put faith in the young midfielder to help the team to victory.
“After 10-15 minutes of the second half, I thought Dec [Weeks] was struggling… but being the character that he is, he stayed on for another 10-15 minutes longer than we thought,” said Shan.
“I spoke to Russ and he said Digie can go in there with no worries at all, he’s got bags of energy, he’s a sitting midfield player so we made a little tactical adjustment when he came on and I thought he did really well”.
Having progressed through Harriers’ Junior Academy, Digie stepped up to our U19s programme last season and recognises the importance of balancing his football and education.
“I have to make sure that I balance by education as well as training with the first team as sometimes the schedules can overlap, so I need to make sure that I’m on top of my work, which I have been,” said Digie.
“…The club is very good at producing youth prospects… and I’m hoping to be one of them” Dennis Digie
“My mum always says to me that education is crucial, and I’m trying to follow the example that she’s set!
Dennis is the second member of the Digie family to progress through the Harriers pathway, older brother Kennedy was in the Harriers first team picture for five years before his departure, ironically, to Tuesday’s opponents Guiseley.
Hailing the impact of his brother as a role model, Dennis also looks to other Academy success stories as motivation.
“Genuinely, I don’t think I would be playing football if it wasn’t for him so it was emotional for me to be playing against him, it’s amazing and undescribable,” admitted Digie.
“I would say to other players coming into the Academy to not be too disheartened by the teams that they’re put in initially, they just need to keep working as in my first year, I wasn’t getting the game time that I thought I deserved personally, but it’s all about opinions and opinions can change quickly.
“…Honestly, I’m delighted and I just wanted to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am including all of the Academy coaches…” Dennis Digie
“As long as you’re working hard and doing things right, then opportunities will come.
“The club is very good at producing youth prospects, in past years there has been Luke Maxwell, my brother of course, Tyrone Williams, George Forsyth, the list goes on and I’m hoping to be one of them”.
February 2020 sees Harriers host their next set of U19s trials for the 2020/21 season!
Interested? Find out more by…
- Viewing our U19s FAQs booklet for details on how you can balance full time football training and gaining important qualifications.
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions.
- Registering for our open trials on 21st February 2020.