We are delighted to announce that Matty Lusty has signed a professional contract with the club – the first member of our Academy Scholarship programme to do so.
The 17-year-old forward has caught the eye of the first team coaching staff since enrolling on the first year of the Scholarship programme at Inver Park last year.
Having worked closely with the first team squad throughout that time the young forward has earned himself a contract at the club, which he is pictured signing alongside first team manager Tiernan Lynch.
Having been brought into the first team ‘bubble’ to train earlier in the campaign Matty wasn’t long in displaying his qualities under the watching eye of the first team coaching staff.
Boss Tiernan Lynch said: “We have been hugely impressed with Matty’s talent and willingness to learn throughout his time at the club, both in the environment with his peers and around senior players at the club.
“One of the major benefits of the Scholarship programme is the genuine pathway it provides from the Academy right through to the first team.
“Matty is now a prime example of that and we hope and believe he will be the first of many. Considering the programme has been in place for less than a year, we are delighted with how things are progressing.”
The Club’s Academy Director, Gary Haveron, praised Matty’s attitude and ability, having put pen to paper with the club.
Gary said: “Matty has taken every opportunity presented to him.
“How he goes about training everyday – his attitude and willingness to learn and improve and develop his all round game. Since joining our Academy on a full-time basis he has adapted really well to full-time training and developed physically with our strength and conditioning programme.
“It’s been a frustrating time for all the academy players, but when we did get opportunities to play matches Matty always looked a threat with his high work rate, willingness to run in behind defenders and his prolific strike rate in front of goal.
“He’s a fantastic goal scorer and his return of 14 goals in six games – including a hat trick against the NIFL Academy -really caught the manager’s eye, who has not missed a game the boys have played.
“We feel this shows the pathways and opportunities are there if you are willing to work hard and dedicate yourself to your football and your goals.
“As an Academy we are all very proud and excited for Matty – but it’s only the start of the next phase of his journey. Hopefully we will see a number of our quality young players join him in the near future.”