ACADEMY graduates Callum Hawkins and Reece Hutchinson have signed professional deals with Burton Albion.
Hawkins spent the 2017/18 season on-loan at Gresley FC, where he established himself as the Moatmen’s first-choice goalkeeper. Hutchinson, who can play anywhere down the left or as an attacking midfielder, also spent time out on-loan at Romulus, along with playing for the Burton Albion under 18s.
The youngsters believe that their journey through the Academy has prepared them for being a part of the first team, something that they are excited about.
Hawkins said: “We have both got to work hard. We have both done well this year and have got to keep working towards developing as players and people.
“I have only been here for two years, but I have really enjoyed my team in the Academy, mostly because of the coaches who have helped me through it. I am grateful for everything that they have done for me.
“For me, it shows that there is a pathway through the club, from the Academy to the first team, because the manager trusts young players and believes that if you are good enough, you are old enough.”
Hutchinson said: “I can’t wait. I have got to work hard over pre-season and I will hopefully get my chance when I get back in.
“It has been an exciting journey, I have got the coaching staff to thank for that. A professional contract is what I wanted to achieve, and the Academy have helped me to that.”
First team manager Nigel Clough said: “It is always great when young players come through the Academy and get professional contracts. One thing that is certain here is that they get opportunities and there is a clear pathway from the Academy to the first team squad.
“We do not have an under 23s side as such, if players come through the Academy they will be with the first team. Occasionally, they may train with the Academy, depending on numbers. From this point onwards, they are classed as professional footballers and will be treated as such.”