Motherwell FC is today delighted to confirm the promotion of Jamie Semple and Kyle MacDonald from the Elite Academy.
Sixteen-year olds Semple and MacDonald have turned pro after years of tutorship at Scott Leitch’s Academy and will now form part of Stephen Craigan’s Under 20s.
Both are more than familiar with the group though, having already played on numerous occasions. Indeed, Semple made his Development League debut against Dundee Utd aged just fourteen.
MacDonald is a hard-working midfield player who has shown great determination to make the step up. He shone at a recent Under 20s match against Rangers at Ibrox and has made the progression to continue his fine rise in recent years.
After signing his first professional deal, Kyle said: “As soon as I found out I was being offered a contract I was over the moon.
“I hadn’t planned for anything else, I was fully committed to this and trying to prove myself at Motherwell and I’m just so happy now, I’ve been here since I was 8-years-old so it’s a dream come true to be honest.”
[pullquote]This is where the hard work starts and this is where the two of them need to show they’re ready to make the next, and hardest, step in their careers so far[/pullquote]
Scotland Youth International Semple is a forward who can also play on the flanks. He has been on the radar of a number of clubs on both sides of the border and abroad, but made a commitment to ‘Well and has seen it through by signing on professional terms.
And the youngster said: “It’s brilliant, especially when you’re coming in and seeing the first-team players and some of them have done a lot in the game.
“You also see boys in the under-20s being pushed up in to the first team so you can see the pathway, what’s in front of you and what you need to do to get to that next level.”
Under-20s boss Stephen Craigan admitted that the two teenagers are ready to make the next step in their careers, but the Northern Irishman firmly believes the hard work is just getting started for the duo.
He said: “First of all I’d like to congratulate Kyle and Jamie, this is an exciting step for a young footballer and I know they’ll be eagerly awaiting the fixtures rolling round soon.
“However, this is where the hard work starts and this is where the two of them need to show they’re ready to make the next, and hardest, step in their careers so far.”
He added: “We’ve seen a number of boys progress through the ranks in recent years and this is yet another example of the Motherwell Football Club model, one that can ensure these boys become the best they can be if they put in the work – I wish them all the best and look forward to the season ahead.”