Bright future for Fergie’s Blackpool

Mark Waddington

Mark Waddington

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Mark Waddington is one of three youth team players Barry Ferguson has promoted to Blackpool’s senior squad.

The 17-year-old midfielder has caught the boss’ eye after a string of superb displays for the U18s.

He’s been promoted permanently to train with the first team and was part of the 18-man squad which travelled to Ipswich recently.

Waddington is joined by Henry Cameron, 17, and 18-year-old defender Harrison McGahey.

Ferguson said: “I think there are three or four players in that youth team who could make the step.

“I want them to train with us and get the experience of working with the first team.

“I think we’ll see more of these lads in the future.”

Wigan-based Waddington is an all-action central midfield player who has impressed Ferguson from day one. He joined the Seasiders as an eight-year-old and has worked his way through the youth system.

Pool’s youngsters have impressed this season, with Richie Kyle’s U18s top of the North West Youth Alliance.

And Ferguson wants to have a closer link with the club’s future stars.

He said: “It’s something I’ve always taken an interest in. I’m going to get the youth team to come up to Squires Gate and train more often.

“I’ve seen a few of the players who I think are ready now to make the step up into the first team. It all bodes well for the future.”

Though Ferguson is yet to record his first win in charge, he is making huge steps to improve the club off the field

He has already looked at improving the structure at Bloomfield Road, starting by speaking to all of the scouts and youth coaches.

The 36-year-old has also become a regular at the club’s youth academy, attending Friday night training sessions.

“I’ll be back down as often as I can,” he said. “I like to see what’s happening. That’s why I go and watch the kids in action.

“I think youth is vital at a club like Blackpool. We don’t bring many players through but I can see the work they are doing and it’s perfect.

“I came through a youth system at Rangers, so I know how important it is.”

Ferguson’s future remains up in the air as another week passes without a decision from chairman Karl Oyston on a permanent appointment. But despite the uncertainty, the former Scotland captain is thriving on his new role.

He said: “I’ve loved every minute. I’ve been ready for a couple of years. This has always been my next step.

“You learn every day. It’s the same as when I was playing – you never stop learning.

“I know how I want to do things. So far it’s been OK but it can get better.”