Ross County Football Club are delighted to have this week signed five of our under 17s squad on two-year professional contracts. The contracts will see the BEN JOHNSTONE (16, Defender), TOM KELLY (16, Defender), JACK MURRAY (16, Midfielder), MARK GALLAGHER (16, Midfielder) and JOEL MACBEATH (16, Forward) commence full-time training with the club’s Development Squad at the end of the month.
Johnstone, Murray (from Inverness), Kelly (from the Black Isle), Gallagher and MacBeath (from Elgin) have all been at the club since the age of eight. All five will continue their education at Dingwall Academy alongside training full-time with the Ross County Development Squad.
Speaking about the signings, RCFC Head of Youth, Steven Ferguson, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to sign Ben, Jack, Joel, Mark and Tom on full-time contracts. They have all come up through the age groups at the club since joining the Childrens’ Academy aged 8 so it’s great credit to them and their coaches that they have made the step up to full-time football. Of-course, it also serves as inspiration to other young players at the club that there is a pathway to full-time professional football open to them if they work as hard as Ben, Jack, Joel, Mark and Tom.
“The five lads all have great potential so should be great additions to Stuart Kettlewell’s Development Squad. Mark Gallagher has already had an invite to train at Everton, who will monitor his progress, while he and Joel MacBeth have also been involved in national training camps too.
“All the lads are making the step up to the Development Squad maybe a year early but we saw how James Wallace and Ross MacIver have benefitted from making the step up early last season and we think this group can do the same. All five have really earned it and the fact they are homegrown players and local lads who really represent the values of our club is a real bonus.”