Young defender on Pool stand-by

Harrison McGahey is expected to be at least on the bench tomorrow
Harrison McGahey is expected to be at least on the bench tomorrow
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Harrison McGahey could celebrate signing a professional contract at Blackpool, by featuring against Burnley tomorrow.

The 18-year-old defender was offered senior terms this week after playing a starring role in Pool’s title-winning youth team.

And he could be handed his big chance tomorrow as Gary MacKenzie continues to struggle through injury.

The Scottish defender hasn’t trained all week and is a major doubt, leaving Pool with a huge defender shortage.

It leaves stand-in boss Barry Ferguson with a big decision to make, with McGahey a real option at the heart of the defence.

While the youngster is yet to play a senior game, Ferguson insists he’d have no problem picking him.

“I would throw him in, 100 per cent,” Ferguson told The Gazette.

“He’s been ready for four or five weeks.

“Ideally I’d have liked him to come in at a different stage, with us being safe.

“But if I have to use him, then he’s ready and I wouldn’t think twice about putting him in tomorrow night.”

McGahey is one of three players offered professional terms at Bloomfield Road this week, along with Mark Waddington and keeper Connor Hunt.

Midfielder Waddington, who’s a year younger than his two fellow new professionals, has been offered a deal 12-months early after impressing this season.

The youth team, who won their league title this season, were sat down by boss Richie Kyle and Pool club secretary Matt Williams on Tuesday to be told of their futures.

On the decision process, Ferguson said: “I spoke to Richie (Kyle) about his squad.

“I don’t know the sort of terms they’ve been offered and things, but we offered three new deals.

“Those three are boys we rate highly.

“I see them all as big players for the future of this club.”

McGahey, 18, joined Blackpool at the age of 14 after stints with Blackburn and Liverpool as a child.

He was on the bench for the trip to QPR recently and has been training with the senior squad for almost two months.

Midfielder Waddington’s progression is a real boost for Blackpool’s youth set-up, having first signed for the Seasiders at the age of eight.