Dale’s production line churned out another star in the making on Saturday, as Andy Cannon made his first team debut.
The 18-year-old, who earned his first professional contract in the summer, was introduced at half time in the 3-2 win over Leyton Orient. Having played as an attacking midfielder for the youth team, Cannon featured at right back for Dale on Saturday, as Keith Hill changed the shape of the team following Ashley Eastham’s dismissal.
Cannon is one of seven players who have progressed through Dale’s youth ranks and into the current first team squad, with two other members of the youth team regularly training with the first team.
Speaking after Saturday’s game, Assistant Manager Chris Beech, who offered Andy a scholarship at Rochdale, was delighted for him.
“I was fortunate to get him as scholar when the youth system at Stockport folded. We had our ears to the ground and I gave him a scholarship after just a couple of days. He has, of course, since turned professional.
"He went out to Tenerife with us, where he was excellent, and we spoke to him mid-week about believing that he was going to get a chance. He’s come away with the first team and circumstances have prevailed.
“He’s played a lot at full back in the bounce games that we arrange and he has done ever so well. We felt that we needed a little bit of energy in there to support Peter V who would play out wide on the right and we split Matty Done to the other side.
“And Andy was brilliant – he was taking the ball down the line, he was inside, he was composed and he’s had a shot on goal, so it was really good.”