Grimsby Town youth team graduates Brandon Buckley, Rumarn Burrell, and Jock Curran have given their first interviews since being offered professional first-team contracts.
The trio, who have played a vital part in Neil Woods’ youth team’s success this season as they sit second-place in EFL North East Youth Alliance, were offered professional deals by Michael Jolley on Tuesday.
And, speaking exclusively on iFollow Mariners, midfielders Buckley and Curran, alongside striker Burrell, have given their first interviews since being offered the contracts.
Brandon Buckley – grandson of legendary manager Alan Buckley, and son of former Town midfielder Adam Buckley – hopes to make a name for himself in his own right, despite being a third-generation footballer.
He said: “It’s an absolutely amazing feeling. It’s just a really proud moment for my family, and I’m over the moon with it.
“I’ve got to try keep it going, and try follow on their footsteps, but also make a name for myself.
“My Grandad talks to me after my games – he gives me feedback on what I did well and did wrong, and how I can improve.
“He normally gives me a rating out of 10 after a game, so I try get a higher rating after every game.”
Centre-forward Burrell, who has scored 32 goals at youth team level over the past two seasons, was delighted to be offered a deal – after making two first-team appearances in recent weeks.
He said: “I’m very pleased with myself because I’ve been trying really hard to achieve this over the last two years because it’s my dream to be a footballer and do it as a career.
“It’s been amazing to travel with the first-team and be around it all, and see how the gaffer manages, and how it all works – it’s just been a good experience.
“It was great because everyone was cheering me on – I could just tell everyone was excited for me, and all the coaches were happy for me.”
And midfielder Curran says he’s excited to be one of the eight Town youth academy graduates in the first-team squad next season.
He said: “It’s absolutely unreal – it was a huge win for us on Monday, and then you can’t write how it’s happened for me.
“He (Michael Jolley) has helped me a lot over the last few weeks, and I wouldn’t be here without him.
“It really helps us – we’ve got three from the under-18s, and then other lads like Harry Clifton in there as well.”
And the trio praised all Town youth academy staff who have helped them achieve their dreams of earning their first professional contract.
Burrell said: “The coaches have helped it happen because they tell me where I’m going wrong and how I can improve, and be better the next time.
“Neil Woods and Callum Lester have been very influential for me because they’re always giving me stuff to do, and telling me how I can improve and get better.”
Buckley said: “They’ve been massive helps throughout my full career.
“Neil brought me through under-15s and started playing me in the youth team, and it got me used to becoming more physical.”
And Curran said: “He’s helped me loads – I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for him.”
Watch the interviews in full for free on iFollow Mariners.