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Donnelly Backs Wilson To Succeed

20 May 2016

Youngster Ready For Step Up

Head of Academy Ciaran Donnelly has backed Macauley Wilson to make the step up to the first-team, but insists patience will be a virtue. 

Captain of the under-18s last season, Wilson signed his first professional contract with Blackpool last month after bagging 12 goals, primarily from right-back.

The teenager then scooped a hat-trick of trophies at the Academy Awards, three years after joining Blackpool from Manchester United.

Wilson was on the bench for the senior side’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie with Port Vale, but is yet to make it onto the pitch for The Seasiders.

Attempting to follow in the footsteps of Luke Higham, Henry Cameron and Bright Osayi-Samuel, the youngster has the right character to be a success, according to Donnelly. 

“’Macca’s’ attitude will give him every chance to succeed,” said Donnelly, who is also head coach of the under-18s. 

“He really knuckled down last summer so when he returned all the coaches were looking at each other thinking he had a good chance, and he had a great season.

“When he makes the step up to the first-team he may have to be patient, just like Luke (Higham) was, but over the last few years opportunities have been presented to the young lads.

“It was another proud moment for the academy when ‘Macca’ signed his professional deal and hopefully he’ll continue to make us proud.” 

While Wilson’s success is rightly shouted from the rooftops, his team mate Rowan Roache was also recognised on the international stage by Republic of Ireland last season.

The forward played the full 90 minutes for Ireland’s under-16s against Italy in April and, after earning another call-up, netted against Slovakia later in the month. 

“It was a brilliant experience for Rowan,” Donnelly explained. “Myself and Simon Wiles went over to Dublin to watch him and he did the academy proud.

“He was playing with players from different clubs in a new environment, so it will only benefit him and Blackpool in the future.”  

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