Young Manx goalkeeper Isaac Allan has signed a professional contract with English League One football club Lincoln City FC on a two-year full-time deal.
Sixteen-year old Isaac, who has represented both the Isle of Man FA’s Centre of Excellence and local team St John’s United throughout his junior career, follows in the footsteps of Manx footballers Adam Long and Dean Pinnington.
The latter have secured professional scholarships at English football clubs in the past and now both represent Wigan Athletic’s first team.
Now training and playing in a professional football environment, Isaac resides at a boarding house, similar to that of KWC, with other year one scholars and continuing year two scholars.
Isaac’s education will be provided by the club where he will study an advanced BTEC in sport, equivalent to that of three A-levels, as well as receiving a modest weekly scholars wage in line with English Football League rules.
Isaac’s enthusiasm for football began at the early age of four, benefiting from living opposite the St John’s United ground Mullen-e-Cloie, where he would train regularly under Kevin Doyle’s watchful eye.
Despite no real family connection to football, his passion to be a solid goalkeeper has been there from the get go and hasn’t swayed, and his time in-between the goal posts has been successful thus far, picking up several trophies with his St John’s junior side as well as success in the Blackpool Cup with the Centre of Excellence.
After training with Everton and Wigan, Isaac attended trials at Blackburn Rovers following their football camp at Douglas Royal and subsequently went on to spend a number of school holidays attending Wigan Athletic’s academy.
In the summer of 2021, as Covid travel restrictions lifted, the teenager attended a UK Football Trials event where he was identified by four clubs on the day, two of which were Lincoln City and Sheffield United.
He spent all but one day of his school summer holidays in the UK attending trails at these two clubs before also being invited to Nottingham Forest.
Regular trips to these three clubs continued throughout the rest of 2021, including a return to Wigan Athletic’s academy.
Then, in January, Isaac was formally offered a scholarship at Lincoln for the 2022-23 season.
After discussing his options with his family, Isaac accepted the offer having really enjoyed his times on trial at the club, the welcome the Imps had given him and the potential player path ways that exist at the club.
Isaac has been guided in recent years by Dave Cherry from the Isle of Man FA Centre of Excellence and former professional Man City footballer Rick Holden, to whom his parents are grateful for his insights, mentoring, one-to one-training sessions and preparation ahead of Isaac joining a professional environment.
Dad Martin commented: ‘On behalf of Isaac, I wish to thank Lincoln City FC for providing this opportunity to Isaac, St John’s AFC it’s committee and coaching staff, the Centre of Excellence coaching staff, those that over the last few years have coached Isaac from fitness coaching, through to physio sessions at short notice.
‘A big thank you again to Rick and Dave.
‘The next two years are going to be very challenging for Isaac, but he has dedicated himself and sacrificed his time to get to this stage so it will be interesting to follow his progress.’