AFC Fylde duo show a pathway is in place
and live on Freeview channel 276
Both have made the step up from Academy to first-team football this season following the Coasters’ return to the National League top flight.
O’Kane signed a professional contract in May and has figured 14 times for the senior team this season, scoring four goals.
Ormerod had featured for the first team in pre-season before his displays in the FA Youth Cup were rewarded with a professional contract earlier this month.
Since then, he has featured three times off the bench as well as travelling with the first team to Sutton United for their FA Cup tie.
Beech said of Ormerod: “He’s taken the first step after signing his first professional contract.
“He didn’t come with us (to Sutton) because there was a spare spot, he’s been doing excellently with the Academy in the FA Youth Cup.
“He’s done really well when he’s trained with us and he’ll continue to do that.
“Him and Taelor are really representing the Academy well and showing we have a pathway but, at the same time, they have lots to do.”
Having that pathway from Academy to senior football was something that former Fylde boss Adam Murray had been keen to address before his departure last month.
One accusation perhaps levelled at Fylde previously was a lack of homegrown players coming through: a topic for which Beech has his own explanation.
The club’s director of football said: “That may be the past pressures of trying to gain promotion and what would be considered by a manager at the time – often managers will chase different routes.
“I do believe that young players don’t carry baggage. They are a sponge in terms of learning – you go back to Sir Alex Ferguson and the Class of 92.
“I think we’ve got a great set-up but it’s been difficult in the past at National League level.
“We can’t protect young Academy players because we aren’t in the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) system, so the rules need to change with that and the National League being classed as a fifth professional league.
“You only get that protection in the Football League but Danny’s signed his first contract and he’s doing really well.”