Penicuik Athletic boss Tony Begg hopes player pathway will lead to future success

Penicuik Athletic boss Tony Begg says the club’s pathway for developing younger players is pointing the club in the right direction.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 12:24 pm
Penicuik manager Tony Begg (right) believes his club's player development pathway is the way forward
Penicuik manager Tony Begg (right) believes his club's player development pathway is the way forward

The Penicuik boss is looking to bring in some experience to his squad over the close season following the departure of a number of key players.

But he is also pledging to give youth a chance, progressing players from the club’s under-20s along Penicuik’s development pathway which is now in its second year.

Begg said: “Four players have moved on - Craig Stevenson, Callum Connolly, Sean Stewart and Joe Viola – and we’ve lost a bit of experience.

"So I'm just looking to make at least one signing that's going to bring the experience to help the younger players in their development.

"Recruitment's well under way and we'll make a couple of announcements in the not too distant future.”

However Begg is also keen to promote from within, subscribing to the theory that a player development pathway has to lead somewhere if it is to be of any value to those who are on it.

He said: “A couple of the 20s have moved up to the squad as well so I'm quite happy with where the squad is.

"If I look back to last year the squad size was probably just a little bit too big for the most part. I kind of did that deliberately in advance of this close season, trying to forward plan.

"It's important as well to keep space for the under-20s. We had Gregor Lamb joined the squad from the under-20s this time last year and he's done really well and pushing to be a regular starter.

"We've got Chris Finney and Lewis Collins who have both been promoted to the first-team squad from the 20s for this coming season and again the challenge is there for them to go and stake a claim for a place.

"It's important that you have the pathway but also that there's space for them as well to get that opportunity to showcase their talents.

"I think we proved that last year with Gregor that if you're good enough the opportunity's there for you and it's up to Chris and Lewis this year and then more for next year because it's an important thing for the club to have that connection with the youth club in the town and create that pathway.

"It's early days, it's only in its second season, but it's definitely bearing fruit already.”