Can Lewis Ferguson follow in the footsteps of former Ferguson greats?Teenager Lewis Ferguson is the latest youth team player to have been offered a professional contract with Doncaster Rovers, and will be working hard throughout the summer in hope of impressing manager Paul Dickov next season.
The Ferguson name does not go without reputation in football, with Alex Ferguson going down as one of the most successful, admired and respected managers in the history of the game. Alex is joined by son Darren Ferguson, current manager of Peterborough United, Duncan Ferguson, former Everton and Rangers footballer and finally Barry Ferguson MBE, former Blackpool and Rangers midfielder.
Will Lewis Ferguson follow in their footsteps?
A member of Rovers youth academy since 2007, Ferguson has had one of his most successful seasons yet.
“I started playing Sunday League football with my friends when I was young and Sam Parkin asked me to come down for a trial, everything just took off from there. I've been playing football for a long time.
“This season has been a good season for me. I played well in the youth and made it into the reserves a few times, I even made it into the first team squad which was really good. I’ve also been training with the first team which has helped me a lot so I feel I’ve done everything I could have done.
“As a youth team player you’re around the first team all the time. We eat with them, do jobs for them, clean their boots which is good for our development, being around players of their experience. You learn a lot and we look up to them to try and bring that into our own game.”
Ferguson is one of four youngsters who will be ‘joining the big boys’ next season. However, this could very easily have not been the case. When the season came to a close, the boys were left wondering what their next move would be.
“The end of the season was a horrible feeling. You didn't know if you were going to carry on being a footballer. You didn't know what you were going to be. I could have been out of a job just like that.
“To be offered a professional contract here is a dream come true. Every little boys dream is to be a professional footballer and I’ve done that. I just need to make sure I keep working hard between now and the start of the season. The gaffer has shown that he will give you a chance if you work hard and hopefully I can get a chance in the first team.”
The 2013/14 season has seen a number of first team appearances from former youth team players James Husband, Liam Wakefield and Alex Peterson, all of which have progressed through the Doncaster Rovers youth system.
Ferguson was one who impressed manager Paul Dickov a number of times this year, making the first team squad as a substitute on 3 occasions.
Dickov says; “Lewis is a tenacious, confident young player who has had an impact in the youth and reserve team this year, which is why I picked him in the squad a number of times. He will do well.”
Ferguson described making the first team squad as an ‘amazing’ feeling;
“It was an amazing feeling. I’m not sure I really knew what I was doing but it was an unbelievable experience for me.
“I just want next season to start now, I can’t wait for it. My aim is to make sure I keep fit over the summer so when I come back I’m ready to go.”
One of the most successful results for the reserve team this year was beating Scunthorpe United away 5-1, which saw Ferguson score a perfectly executed finish to get on the scoresheet and was watched by Paul Dickov.
Watch his goal below:
Doncaster Rovers Youth Development System is part funded by the Rovers Alliance. The Alliance is an exclusive members club for Doncaster Rovers fans. The purpose of the Alliance is to raise vital funds for the Club’s youth development system, whilst giving members a closer link to Doncaster Rovers and the chance to win cash prizes, as well as ‘money can’t buy’ experiences.
Membership costs just £2.25 per week and is packed full of fantastic benefits. Every penny raised is invested into the Youth Academy to help develop Doncaster Rovers players of the future such as youngsters Liam Wakefield, Alex Peterson, Jonathan Maxted and James Husband, all who have been named in first team squads this season and came through the Doncaster Rovers Youth Academy.
For more information on the Rovers Alliance please call 01302 764664 or e-mail email@example.com
Keep up with the latest activity at the Keepmoat Stadium during the close season via: