Youth team Captain Jamie Allen says he is “proud” to have been shortlisted for the LFE Apprentice of the Year for League Two award at the forthcoming Football League Awards.
The 18-year-old found out last week that he had been shortlisted alongside two others – Tyler Harvey of Plymouth Argyle and Barnet's George Sykes - for the top accolade.
The winner will be announced a glittering awards ceremony next month in London and a shy Jamie Allen admits he is delighted to have received the nomination: I really didn’t expect to be chosen to be honest so I’m really happy and really proud.”
The recognition adds to an already positive season for Dale’s under 18 side who have caught the eye due to an impressive run in the FA Youth Cup as well as the Lancashire Youth Cup and in the league.
Jamie is pleased with how the season has gone so far and says the memories from the side’s FA Youth Cup run will stay with him for a very long time: “Pre-season went well and we just progressed from there really because after losing our first league game we went on a 13 game unbeaten run which was brilliant.
“We’ve played in some big games this season and I’ll never forget the experience of playing at Spotland or at Nottingham Forest’s City Ground. Playing at a big stadium like that with all your mates and having the chance to play in front of a crowd is an experience I’ll never forget, I’d love to do that week in and week out.”
Jamie was named amongst the substitutes for Dale’s League Two encounter against Chesterfield earlier this month. It was his first appearance on the bench for the first team and he says he’s learnt from the experience: “Having the chance to train with players that you would normally sit in the stand and watch every week was brilliant. The speed of the game is a lot quicker and more exciting.”
The icing on the cake for Jamie would be silverware, something which is still possible with the final of the Lancashire Youth Cup to look forward to. Details of the final have yet to be confirmed but the midfielder hopes that it is his own team who are celebrating success: “Hopefully we can lift the trophy as a reward for all the hard work that we’ve done, it would be a nice way to round off the season.”