THE second player that we focus on in the EFL’s Youth Development Week is one who has been a Brewer for longer than you might realise!
Despite his recent success as a first team regular, Marcus Harness has not only just come to the attention of most Brewers fans. In fact, the Academy graduate has been a name on the lips of the Pirelli Stadium faithful for more than half a decade.
Harness, 22, made his Burton Albion debut in September 2013, playing the final quarter of an hour in an EFL Trophy defeat to Notts County. The promising winger would have to wait six months for his next taste of Brewers action, making his league debut in March 2014 against Scunthorpe United.
His first League Two start came the same year as he played 58 minutes on the final day of the season away to Southend United, with Albion having already secured a play-off place and two legs against the same opponent.
Harness made something of a breakthrough during the 2014-15 season, managing 18 League Two appearances and assisting two goals as Albion won the league and were promoted to League One. The winger also got the chance to play against higher league opposition in the League Cup, producing a brilliant display as the Brewers overcame then Premier League Queens Park Rangers.
He struggled for game time in the third-tier in 2015-16, making just five League One appearances, all of which came under Nigel Clough after he returned to the club to replace Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Harness did, however, gain experience of playing in the National League with Aldershot Town, playing twice while on-loan.
With Albion earning promotion to the Championship, Harness managed to play 10 times in the second-tier as Nigel. Clough’s side managed to survive and finish in the highest league position in the club’s history.
Last season was Harness’ best in terms of EFL appearances. Having joined Port Vale on-loan, he played 35 League Two, scoring once and assisting four times. Overall, the wide man played 42 times for the Burslem-based club.
This season has been his standout one for the Brewers. Having netted his first Burton Albion goal against Walsall during a Checkatrade Trophy game in September, Harness was given a starting berth over the festive period.
The winger netted his first league goal for Albion in January, and went on to score a hat-trick in the same game against Rochdale, become the first Burton Albion Academy graduate to net a treble in the EFL.
Harness has played 22 times across all competitions this season, even starting in the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Middlesbrough and the semi-final against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.