Spennymoor Town academy product Niall Short broke into the first team squad in January, but is yet to make an appearance in the league. The promising youngster eagerly awaits his chance to step out onto The Brewery Field with the senior team and feels he is closer than ever to representing his hometown on the biggest stage.
Spennymoor Town recently presented an opportunity to one of their youngsters in Charlie Hindson, as the academy product came on and made an impressive cameo appearance against Gloucester City. Like Hindson, Short has been one of the few academy products to break into the first team setup, with the local Spennymoor lad dreaming of the day his name will be called by The Brewery Field tannoy.
The few glimpses of senior team football have come during the defender’s involvement in the Durham Challenge Cup, when Moors were defeated by Ryhope CW in the quarter-final. There were a few first team players appearing in the cup run as the likes of Chris Mason, Mark Anderson & Claudio Ofosu featured alongside a team full of academy products.
Despite the disappointing end to their Durham Challenge Cup hunt, Short gained valuable experience by learning from the senior players. The rapid full-back also stepped up as one of the most experienced youngsters involved, following his time with the senior squad.
Short said: “It’s been a bit surreal being a Spennymoor lad, it’s a great feeling getting to represent my hometown. Playing in the Durham Challenge Cup was great, obviously it would’ve been nice to progress, but it wasn’t meant to be so hopefully next year we can go all the way.
The young defender made his first appearance on the bench when new managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley came into the picture, with Short’s impressive progression leaving him confident that his first appearance outside of The Durham Challenge Cup will come sooner rather than later.
He said: ”Since the new managers have come in, I’ve had a brilliant experience training with them every week and I feel like I’m progressing well so far.
“The academy has been great for me so far, obviously I came in the summer and didn’t expect to be involved with the first team so much. But as the season has gone on, I know I’ve seriously developed as a player and got the chance I feel I deserved in the few months running up to Christmas.
“Realistically I’ve got a lot of things to develop, I know the National League North is very intense, physical and it’s completely different to the standard to the Under 23’s. However, by training with the first team every week I can only improve in both aspects of the game.”
However, the overall development of the club has an aura of optimism, with the women’s team now making The Brewery Field their home. The men’s senior team also have a sense of hope as they are now chasing the play-off places in the hopes of reaching the highest level Moors have ever been to in their history.
As a player and local fan, it’s fair to say Short is rather excited at the prospects of Spennymoor Town.
He said: “The ambition for the club in a few years’ time is to be in the Football League, so with the first team now chasing the play-offs it’s definitely a possibility. If that aim was achieved it would be a fantastic, not only as a player but as a fan too.
“From what I’ve learnt over the last eight months at the academy is fantastic, its also great having young lads and girls from the age of seven playing for the Town. It’s especially good news that the women’s team are now playing at The Brewery Field on Sundays, so it’s nice to see we have a good future ahead.”