The Isle of Man Football Association’s under-18 side is off-island this week on an end-of-season tour.
Lewis Qualtrough and Paul Bridson’s teens have been training once a week since narrowly losing 2-1 to Lancashire CFA in the FA County Youth Cup back in October.
As part of the trip to the north west, the youngsters will play Lancaster City’s under -21s tonight, Thursday.
The IoM FA are in discussions to tie up a strong link with the club for both junior and senior island-based players.
Lawrence Looney, a director at Lancaster City and Manx resident, explained that his key objective is to build a pathway between the IoM FA Centre of Excellence and the Northern Premier League Division One North leaders with the future hope that young football talent will have a platform to develop and grow both individually and as a team.
Former Douglas and District player and manager Lonney said: ’We want to use this connection to develop local talent enabling them to play at a semi-professional level on a more regular basis.
’The strategy is to use these links to give Manx players an opportunity to train and potentially play games for Lancaster City.
’The club is working on a number of options to enable this - namely by building scholarship programme with a UK college to enable young players to study while also playing for Lancaster, together with providing options for travel to and from Lancaster from the island.
’This is a huge opportunity for local talent, something that has not been seen before.
’ I am keen to drive the partnership between the IoM FA and Lancaster City Football Club forward and would be interested in talking to any potential sponsorship partners interested in this collaboration.
’ The more promotion we can get around this, will enable us to create opportunities for the talented young footballers we have here in the island.’
Island squad: Owen Dawson (Peel), Tom Moffatt (Ramsey), Adam Long (St George’s), Jamie Corlett (Ramsey), Connor Hislop (St George’s), Joe Quayle (St George’s), Wael Mohammed Kassim (Ramsey), Joel Ibanez (St George’s), Matthew Wilkinson ( Laxey), Jake Garvey (St George’s), Callum Ciappelli (St George’s), Jordan Crawley (Union Mills), Sidney Batty (St George’s), Andrew Burkitt (Laxey), Cormac Smith (Peel), Marcus Koske (Ramsey), Luke Murray (Corinthians).