Every year across Scotland, a handful of young men fulfil their boyhood dreams when they sign full-time for a football club. Here at YFS we're putting the spotlight on the new kids on the block who've just made the grade from youth academy level to the professional game, as they make the next step in their promising careers.
With Stephen Robinson now at the helm at Motherwell, he has brought in several new faces as he revamps his side for the season ahead. Despite this, many home-grown players like Chris Cadden, Allan Campbell and Ross MacLean will make up the backbone of the team that is focused on developing players and giving them a shot at becoming first team regulars.
Having made his Under 20s debut at the tender age of 14, Jamie Semple will wear the number 42 shirt this Season. The Bellshill born 16 year old forward attended Braidhurst High school in Motherwell which is an SFA School of Football facility. Semple has been at Motherwell for a large part of his career and scored his first goal for the Motherwell Under 20s in May still only aged 15.
It’s not just at Motherwell Semple is making his name, he is also making his name at international level having appeared for Scotland numerous times including at the Under 16s Victory Shield in 2016 where he scored a brace against Wales and just recently called up to the Scotland Under 17s. Having made so much progress at such a young age it’s no surprise he has attracted the interest of clubs down south. For now, however, Semple will begin his professional career at Motherwell aiming to break into the first team.
17 Year old Kyle Macdonald is another player given a pro contract by Motherwell. A hard working midfielder who has been at Motherwell since he was just eight years old. He has played multiple times for the Under 20s and was most recently in the squad with the Under 20s at the first round Irn Bru cup fixture in which the young Steelmen won 2-1. He has made an impressive rise to prominence in the Well youth system and has been rewarded with a pro contract at his boyhood club.
Speaking to Motherwell’s media team Macdonald said: “As soon as I found out I was being offered a contract I was over the moon.
“I hadn’t planned for anything else, I was fully committed to this and trying to prove myself at Motherwell and I’m just so happy now, I’ve been here since I was 8-years-old so it’s a dream come true to be honest.”